June 2022

Wrexham teenager handed four year detention for sex offences

A Wrexham teenager has been handed a four-year detention after he groomed and harassed a young girl online.

Alex Edwards, of Wynnstay Avenue, appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday morning.

The 19-year-old had been convicted of a number of offences at a previous hearing, including; causing or inciting a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in a sexual act, disclosing sexual photographs, harassment, threats to kill and possessing indecent images of a child.

Elen Owen, prosecuting, explained Edwards befriended the girl on social media and asked her to be his girlfriend.

The girl, who lived a significant distance away in England and never met the defendant during the course of his offending, agreed and the defendant began sending gifts to her.

The online relationship continued, but he became controlling – making her stay on the phone with him or on social media and demanding that she didn’t go out.

Then he started to have sex toys posted to the girl, one of which she used at his instruction while he watched via video.

He took screenshots of the act and also had her send him indecent images of herself.

Roughly five months after the relationship began, the girl ended it and blocked Edwards on social media.

After that, he bombarded her and her family with threatening messages, including that he would burn her home down and kill her.

He even sent the girl’s father indecent images he had taken of her online, telling him: “Just to let you know, I am on my way to kill your daughter.”

But Edwards never travelled to the area where the victim lived.

When his phone was examined, it was found to contain two indecent images of category A – the most serious – and 16 of category C.

Judge Niclas Parry told Edwards: “There are numerous offences. They exhibit worrying behaviour.

“You have an obsession with social media and you’ve had numerous relationships with young females you’ve met online.

“You made threats – serious threats – clearly intending to cause the maximum distress.”

Overall, the Judge handed down a period of four years detention in a young offenders institute for the defendant.

Edwards was made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and must register as a sex offender indefinitely.

The court imposed an indefinite restraining order preventing him from contacting the victim.