Victims of sex predator Anthony Burns ‘considered suicide’ after terrifying ordeals | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Victims of a sick sexual predator attended a Birmingham court to see their blackmailer put behind bars – with one telling him he did not “have any control over me any more”. Anthony Burns, who learned techniques from city paedophile, Abdul Elahi, to blackmail women and children into performing vile sex acts, was locked up for 24 years at Birmingham Crown Court.

Among those watching proceedings were eight of his 35 victims, who had been made to perform degrading and demeaning sex acts after he threatened to forward nude images they sent him to their family and friends.

The 39-year-old first offered to pay the vulnerable women £600 for naked pictures, posing as the head of a model agency. But once he obtained the images, he used them to get women and children to perform sex acts, with one mum convinced to abuse her own daughter.

READ MORE: ‘Revolting’ pervert who blackmailed children and women into vile sex acts jailed

The eight victims at court read out impact statements explaining how Burns’s sick actions had affected them. Several said they had considered taking their own lives and taken overdoses.

One told the court she feared Burns was capable of visiting her house, and might sexually attack her or even murder her. The businesswoman, who cannot be identified, said: “I could not stop thinking about it. Everything I had planned was tainted.”

Turning to face Burns in the glass-fronted dock, the woman, who read her statement from the witness box, added: “He doesn’t have any control over me any more. I don’t care about him. I want him to feel the fullest force of the law. He needs to be punished for what he did.”

Anthony Burns learned off Birmingham sexual predator Abdul Elahi how to blackmail women and children into performing vile sex acts

Another woman told the judge she no longer felt safe in her home and had fallen victim to Burns while struggling financially. She ended her statement by saying: “It’s not an understatement to say that this incident has ruined my life.”

A third suffered crippling panic attacks after being targeted while looking for a partner on a dating site. She said: “The person I began to communicate with was Anthony Burns.

Where to get help if you’re feeling suicidal

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected] , write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING, FK8 2SA and visit to find your nearest branch.

Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

Other depression charities

Mind is a mental health charity that offers information, support and resources for those that are struggling. They also offer help for young people and those supporting someone in their life with mental health struggles. Call Mind info line on 0300 123 3393.

Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, anonymous mental health text support service. Texting the word ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 will start a conversation with a trained Shout volunteer, who will text you back and forth.

Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying

There are other depression charities and support you can access. If you are seriously concerned, please call 999.

“He blackmailed me to produce this disgusting video. I felt physically sick. It was a vicious cycle I could not break.”

Burns had victims in Birmingham, Coventry, Kettering and Nottingham in the Midlands and further afield in Aberdeen, Australia, Braintree, Canterbury, Channel Islands, Essex, Dartford, Huddersfield, London (Battersea, Brent, Clapham, Hackney, Finchley and Greenwich), Luton, Peterborough, Plymouth, Runcorn, Spalding, Sunbury-on-Thames, Swindon, Trowbridge and the US.

READ MORE: Pervert ‘pupil’ of online predator convinced mum to sexually abuse daughter, 8

Burns admitted 41 counts and was found guilty of a further two on 30 August last year, following a two-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court. He had faced 46 counts including blackmail, attempted blackmail, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, arranging the commission of a child sex offence; making and distributing indecent images of children (IIOC), possessing extreme pornography, malicious communications offences and failure to comply with notification requirements. The remaining charges will lie on file.

Two of the blackmail offences involved Elahi – who received a 32-year sentence in 2021 – as an online accomplice. Burns was also the subject of a sexual harm prevention order imposed for previous offences, the court heard. Prosecutor Kate Temple-Mabe said Burns, originally from Lowestoft in Suffolk, had previous convictions for child-related sexual offences dating back to 2010.

Anthony Burns learned techniques on how to blackmail women and was handed scripts by Birmingham sexual predator, Abdul-Habib Elahi, from Sparkhill(Image: NCA)

The conviction in 2010 involved sexual grooming of a 14-year-old schoolgirl when Burns was aged 25, while a later offence saw him sentenced for inciting child prostitution. Ms Temple-Mabe told Judge Sarah Buckingham that Burns had a perverse interest in sexual activity, including with animals, and demanded sexual videos from victims after tricking them into sending their personal and social media details and addresses.

Describing Burns’ offending in 2018, 2019 and 2020 against victims in the USA, UK and Australia, Ms Temple-Mabe told the court: “Behind every communication was a desire to force women to perform sexually degrading acts online, which he would screenshot.”

The carefully thought-out process of the blackmail offences, including threats to post videos and images online or contact family members, “terrified victims into meeting his demands”, the court heard.

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READ MORE: Sex abuse ‘box sets’ still lurking in depths of internet as monster caged

Following sentencing, children’s charity NSPCC said: “Burns international campaign of blackmail and online sexual abuse demonstrates how easily offenders like him can target young people online and cause devastating harm, as well as access and share indecent images.

“Child sexual abuse can have a devastating and long-term impact on victims, and we hope that all those who Burns targeted are able to access appropriate support specific to their needs. We would encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse to seek support.

“We fought for the introduction of the Online Safety Act, and now tech firms must step up their game and prepare for the new regulations that come with it. Only when online services put children’s safety at the heart of their decisions will young people be protected from abusers like Burns.”

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