Teenage predator used Snapchat to target young girls and send them horrific threats | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

A “dangerous” teenager used social media to prey on young children. Nathan Mainwaring used Discord and Snapchat to first talk to young girls before encouraging one victim to write derogatory comments on her body and telling her to carry out acts of self harm.

Police said that Mainwaring met his first victim on Discord in the summer of 2021 – a messaging platform mainly used by gamers, before adding her on Snapchat. He began messaging the 14-year-old continuously, would get angry if she did not reply, and would ask her to send photos of herself. Mold Crown Court heard that Mainwaring, who was 16 at the time, would tell the teenager she could trust him but would then threaten to share the images if she did not send more.

The victim said the defendant encouraged her to write degrading words on her body, and asked her to commit a sexual act using a blade. She said Mainwaring would become angry if she did not carry out sexual acts over messages, North Wales Live reports. For the latest court reports, sign up to our crime newsletter here

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The defendant later threatened to take his own life and threatened the teenager after she blocked him following the request for nude images. He later contacted and visited her school, where he tried to speak to the victim. An unknown number also contacted the victim and said that Mainwaring had shared photos of her, before sending further messages threatening her with sexual and physical violence.

While he was under investigation, Mainwaring, who by then was 17, went on to speak to a second victim on Discord. He would encourage the 14-year-old to take sexual pictures, and would send her controlling and toxic messages, North Wales Police said. Officers carried out a search warrant at his home where a number of devices were seized. The defendant was arrested in January 2023 and released on bail.

Experts found Mainwaring had downloaded files to target people’s user accounts and computers. One files included more than five million stolen password and username combinations lists.

Images of young girls writing derogatory comments and creating self-harming marks on their bodies were also discovered on the defendant’s devices. A further warrant was carried in June 2023, where he was arrested on suspicion of Fraud and Computer Misuse Act Offences.

Mainwaring of Llys Maes Teg, Greenfield, Holywell, Flintshire, admitted causing and inciting a 14-year-old to engage in sexual activity and malicious communications with intent to cause distress before appearing at Mold Crown Court on Tuesday. He admitted the sexual exploitation of his second victim and making indecent images of her, and also pleaded guilty to fraud.

The defendant was sentenced to three and a half years in a young offender’s institution. Following the sentencing, Ann Parry, Civilian Investigator for North Wales Police said: “Nathan Mainwaring is a dangerous predator who used online platforms to target vulnerable children and gain their trust to fulfil his own sexual desires.

“This case highlights just how important it is for children and their parents to know exactly who they are speaking to online. I commend the bravery of the victims and their families for having the courage to come forward to give their accounts.

“Finally, on behalf of North Wales Police, I am extremely grateful for the support offered by multiple UK police forces during the course of this investigation, who have shown that the police will leave no stone unturned when investigating those who seek to do harm to the most vulnerable members of our society.”

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