Pervert who blackmailed young girls over sex images dubbed '˜every parent's worst nightmare'

A South Elmsall pervert posed online as a teenage boy before blackmailing young girls into sending him sex videos of themselves.

Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 4:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th May 2017, 4:56 pm

A court heard one 14-year-old victim became suicidal after Jason Gothard threatened to post explicit images of her on Facebook unless she went along with his demands.

Gothard, 26, was given a 12-year extended sentence after a judge described him as “every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Gothard was caught after the mother of one of his victims saw the Facebook messages he had sent to her daughter.

She confronted Gothard online then re-posted the vile messages and pictures he had sent the youngster onto his own Facebook message board where they were seen by his workmates, who contacted police.

Leeds Crown Court heard Gothard made friends with a 10-year-old girl on Facebook in January last year by pretending to be a 15-year-old boy called Harry.

Gothard managed to persuade the youngster to send him naked pictures of herself. He then asked her to call him but she refused.

Gothard, still pretending to be the 15-year-old boy, sent her a message which read: “Your pictures are going to your parents and all around the internet if you do not ring.”

The girl refused but Gothard made contact with her again when he created a different profile, claiming to be a 16-year-old boy called Declan.

Gothard managed to persuade the girl to send a video of herself more explicit in nature.

Kirstie Watson, prosecuting, said Gothard contacted a 14-year-old victim on Facebook two months later using the same made-up profile.

The teenager sent Gothard intimate pictures of herself but he demanded more sexually graphic videos of her.

He threatened to post the images she had already sent him onto Facebook and to tag her name on them.

Gothard sent her another message which read: “You have three hours to send one on Facebook. If it is not there when I log in tomorrow then I will post.”

Police were contacted after the victim contacted a friend and expressed suicidal thoughts because she was so fearful of being exposed online.

Officers went to her home to speak to her and Gothard sent more messages while they were there.

Gothard wrote: “Listen, you do what I say and I won’t hurt you. Tick tock.”

Another message read: “If you find another 13 or 14 year old girl who will do the vid for me then you won’t have to.”

Gothard was traced to his home in South Elmsall and arrested a month later.

He admitted to officers he had set up a fake profile after searching for images of young boys on the internet.

Gothard admitted asking for videos “in a moment of madness” but denied threatening the girls.

He was released on bail while police continued their investigation but continued to offend.

Gothard made contact with a 13-year-old girl but the messages were intercepted by her mother who confronted him then exposed his activities online.

Gothard, of Westfield Lane, South Elmsall, pleaded guilty to four offences of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one offence of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Christopher Morton, mitigating, said Gothard accepted that his offending was for sexual gratification and was sorry for what he had done.

Mr Morton said Gothard married three months ago and his wife was expecting their baby in June.

Gothard must serve a custodial term of eight years followed by an extended four-year period on licence.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “What you did to those children was every parent’s worst nightmare. You were corrupting those children for your own sexual pleasure, blackmailing them with the hope they would do more.

“Only through outstanding police work, this man has been brought to justice and the extent of what he has done has been exposed.”

After the case, Detective Inspector Steve Greenbank, of Wakefield District Child Safeguarding, said: “The effect his insidious actions have had on his young victims cannot be overstated and could affect them for potentially years to come.

“Gothard showed detailed planning and utter deviousness in the way he stole images and set up these accounts to seek out and target young girls online.”