December 2022

‘Dangerous’ men who ‘exposed child victim to sickening abuse’

A man who directed his partner to sexually abuse a child and photographed a man sleeping naked in his bed has been jailed.

Officers from Lancashire Police’s Online Child Abuse Investigation Team (OCAIT) launched an investigation in early 2020 after being made aware of an individual uploading an indecent image of a child to Facebook.

That led them to visit the home of 22-year-old defendant William Greenhalgh in Blackpool, and seize his phone.

Examination of Greenhalgh’s phone revealed he had been communicating and sharing indecent images with his former student boyfriend Abhiyaan Malhotra, who was at that time living in Wales, via a social media application.

Within a chatlog on the app, Greenhalgh sent Malhotra indecent images of a young boy, followed by live video recording.

At one point Malhotra tells Greenhalgh to call himself a sex offender while he was sexually abusing the child.

Further examination of the chatlogs revealed Malhotra had taken a photograph of a man sleeping naked, without his knowledge, and sent it to Greenhalgh.

When Greenhalgh was arrested he told officers that he had committed the offences under duress and that he was in a dominant/submissive relation in which he was the submissive party.

He claimed his co-defendant had taken control of his finances and had threatened to ‘out’ him to family if he didn’t continue to send him money.

During his police interview Malhotra provided a prepared statement, denying that he had committed any offences.

He claimed Greenhalgh was the dominant partner in the relationship and said part of the ‘fantasy’ involved his co-defendant telling him to do things he didn’t want to do.

Greenhalgh, now of no fixed address but formerly of Dunelt Road, Blackpool, was charged with making and distributing indecent photographs/pseudo-photographs of a child; sexual assault against a child; and possessing a prohibited image of a child.

He pleaded guilty to all the charges against him.

Malhotra, 25, of Terrace Road, Swansea, was charged with voyeurism and arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

He pleaded guilty to both offences.

Greenhalgh was sentenced to 40 months imprisonment, made subject of a lifetime sexual harm prevention order and order to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Malhotra was jailed for 42 months, made subject of a lifetime sexual harm prevention order and order to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.