Man jailed for posing as schoolgirl to commit sex offences

A man has been jailed for 12 years after he admitted posing as a teenage girl to manipulate schoolboys into sending him naked photos and videos of them abusing other children.

Oliver Derbidge, 25, was caught by the National Crime Agency who had been alerted by the Australian authorities to a Briton sharing indecent images of children.

Investigators discovered Derbidge, of George Street, Glastonbury, Somerset had expressed in online child abuse forums a sexual interest in young boys.

Oliver Derbidge has been jailed for 12 years (National Crime Agency/PA)
Oliver Derbidge has been jailed for 12 years (National Crime Agency/PA)

Following his arrest last year, his electronic devices were seized, which were found to contain indecent images of teenage boys, as well as records of online conversations in which Derbidge blackmailed a boy into sexually abusing another child.

The evidence gathered showed that his offending spanned a five-year period from 2016 until his arrest.

Derbidge admitted to posing as a teenage girl during that time, using the alias Emily Beecham to target schoolboys on Snapchat.

He would send them friend requests and ask them to send naked photos of themselves, sometimes sending back naked images of a female he had found online.

In total 23 boys – aged between 11 and 16 – were identified by National Crime Agency officers as victims of Derbidge.

Each of them confirmed they had sent photos to Emily Beecham, as they believed they were speaking with another teenager.

Some explained that Derbidge had threatened to share their naked photos with friends and family if they did not send him additional images or footage of them abusing another child.

Derbidge pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a 15-year-old child to engage in penetrative sexual activity, five counts of causing or inciting a child aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity and three counts of making indecent images of a child.

At Taunton Crown Court, he was jailed for 12 years, placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and given a lifetime sexual harm prevention order.

Phil Eccles, senior investigating officer at the National Crime Agency, said: “Derbidge went to great lengths to satisfy his sexual attraction to young boys.

“Like many online offenders, he attempted to mask his real identity with a convincing persona to exploit teenagers into sending him sexual content.

“When they did not meet his demands, he even blackmailed some of them into abusing other children.

“His abuse has had a profound impact on these vulnerable young victims who have been extremely brave throughout the course of our investigation.

“Sadly, this can happen to anyone. I’d encourage parents to speak with their children about who they communicate with online and what they share.

“Protecting children from sexual abusers is a priority for the NCA. We will use all the tools at our disposal to ensure those offenders who think they can hide online are identified and brought to justice.”