A baby-faced paedophile who posed as a 14-year-old boy to try and con his way into a secondary school has been jailed for sending explicit pictures to young girls. Anthony Lonsdale, 21, turned up at a school wearing a uniform and tried to enrol as a pupil in order to meet a teenage girl he had groomed on social media.
Lonsdale set up fake profiles on Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp, using aliases, including a teenage girl called ‘Tia’. Posing as ‘Tia’, he chatted to the girl and encouraged her to add her so-called 12-year-old brother ‘Sam’- a second profile he had created.
Over several weeks ‘Sam’ sent the girl increasingly intimate messages before sending her sexually explicit photos. A court heard Lonsdale tried to con his way into a school in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, dressed as a pupil in a bid to meet the young victim.
Police were alerted and identified two other girls from Nottinghamshire who Lonsdale had been contacting using fake names, including ‘Tony’, ‘Tia’, ‘Emily’ and ‘Sam’. Lonsdale would message from the different accounts, send indecent images, and request photos in return.
He met up with one of the young teenage girls at a McDonald’s restaurant disguised as a female friend, and tried to contact her younger sister. The girl blocked him but Lonsdale contacted her from another fake account saying he had attempted suicide because of her actions.
Lonsdale was arrested last March and bailed but he continued to prey on teenage girls and send naked pictures of himself. He also went to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire dressed as a teenage girl to meet a 14-year-old girl in a park.
He even convinced her and her mum to let him stay overnight claiming he had no money to get home. Lonsdale, of Wembley in north west London, admitted eight counts of grooming and possession of sexually explicit images of children.
He was jailed for seven years last Thursday (January 19), plus three years on extended licence, at Nottingham Crown Court. A Sexual Harm Prevention Order and five-year restraining order were also put in place to prevent Lonsdale from contacting the victims.
Detective Sergeant Sophie Draycott, from Nottinghamshire Police’s Child Exploitation Investigation Unit, said: “The lengths to which Lonsdale went to by creating several fake personas on social media, to build trust with the victims and even attempting to enrol at the same school as one of the teenagers is unbelievable. Behaviour such as this is intolerable, and I would like to recognise the courage of the young girls who worked with us as part of our investigation.
“As a result, Lonsdale is now facing the consequences of his actions.”