November 5, 2021 2.30 pm

‘Sadistic pervert’ jailed for manipulating kids online

He pretended to be a teenage boy

A 54-year-old man who pretended to be a teenage boy online to manipulate young victims and fulfil his sexual gratification has been jailed for just under four years.

Mark Gibbins, 54, of Horncastle Road in Boston, pleaded guilty to inciting a child under the age of 13 and a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, Grimsby Magistrates Court heard.

As well as this, he pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual communications with a child and making/distributing indecent photography of children.

The court heard how Gibbins, described by Humberside Police as a “sadistic pervert”, concealed his real identity online, and manipulated his victims to believing he was a teenage boy.

He targeted his victims online by preying on their vulnerabilities several times, with offences taking place across five police force areas in the country.

Last year, Lincolnshire Police issued a wanted appeal for Gibbins based on sexual offences, saying they believed he was using homeless hostels and going by different names to keep a low profile.

He was sentenced at Grimsby Crown Court on Friday to three years and ten months behind bars.

Police Constable Terina Dennett leading the investigation said: “I’m really pleased that Gibbons is now receiving a punishment for his criminal actions.

“His victims have showed nothing but bravery and courage throughout the course of the investigation and court proceedings. I hope today’s sentencing will provide them with some closure in knowing this predator can no longer cause harm to them or any other child.

“We take crimes of this nature incredibly seriously and will continue to seek prosecution against anybody who thinks it is okay to commit these types of offences.

“It is never the victim’s fault and I would strongly appeal for any child who believes they are being manipulated into doing something they don’t want to, to speak with an adult or friend and report it to us.

“Through partnership working with social services and family support teams, the victims and their families in this case have been able to access invaluable support, which is something we offer to all victims of child sexual offences.

“You will be listened to and we will continue to take action against offenders.”

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