May 2022

Online paedophile who exchanged sexual images with children snared by Twitter

An online paedophile who exchanged sexual images with a vulnerable girl of twelve and two boys was jailed for eight years after Twitter alerted police about him.

John Stuart Jones, 49, of Ruthin, had no previous convictions.

But Judge Nicola Saffman at Caernarfon crown court said police discovered he had sexual conversations with the girl of twelve.

“Appallingly, you joined her in groups and shared her details, allowing her address to be identified and exposing her name,” the judge said.

Jones had traded images of the victim with another web pervert. His behaviour had been “relentless” to an extent and there was grooming, Judge Saffman remarked.

The defendant must register as a sex offender indefinitely and a sexual harm prevention order was also made.

Jones had pleaded guilty to a catalogue of offences including distributing child porn in the worst category and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Rogers said that, in May 2020, North Wales Police had been alerted by Twitter about his illegal online behaviour. Then there was a further referral by Twitter and it was discovered that Jones had previously been messaging a girl, who was traced by police.

Mr Rogers said the girl had assumed Jones was the same age but she had been scared when he contacted her. Jones had placed her in group chats. There were “numerous” examples of the victim displaying her vulnerability within the messages, counsel said.

Mr Rogers added that the defendant had also exchanged lewd images with a US boy and one who said he was from the Philippines.