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Online paedophile Aaron Honey, of Clover Hill, Coulsdon, jailed after being caught in the act
A prolific and predatory paedophile who was caught in the act when police carried out an early morning raid on his home has been jailed for five years.
Aaron Honey targeted children across the world and got them to send him indecent images of themselves after contacting them online via mobile phone apps and computer game chat facilities.
And when police went to arrest him at his home in Clover Hill, Coulsdon, last July, officers discovered he had his mobile phone connected to his computer and was downloading indecent pictures.
Honey pleaded guilty to a total of 24 offences involving seven victims when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court yesterday.
Surrey Police began investigating him after being contacted by the mother of an 11-year-old boy.
She told them her son had been communicating with a person called Aaron on his games console and Facebook.
During their conversations the boy was asked to send naked pictures.
After detectives arrested Honey they found 368 indecent images on his phone, as well as chat logs and contacts.
And during their investigation they discovered Honey had used instant chat mobile phone apps Kik Messenger and WhatsApp to groom children into sending indecent photos of themselves.
Honey shared the indecent pictures with a network of other paedophiles
He also preyed on other youngsters via online chat facilities on games including Call of Duty and FIFA Football.
He also shared images with a network of other paedophiles he was in contact with online.
Officers traced and interviewed a number of victims Honey had communicated with and then pressured into sending him photos.
In two cases where young girls refused, Honey blackmailed them into it by threatening to distribute other images of them on the internet or on fake Facebook accounts.
The 21-year-old was bailed by police but rearrested last September and remanded in custody after officers discovered he had been continuing to contact children while on bail.
At court yesterday he admitted seven counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity involving seven victims, two counts of blackmail, one count of causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography.
He also pleaded guilty to seven counts of distributing indecent photos of a child, five counts of making indecent photos of a child, one count of possessing prohibited images of a child and one count of possessing extreme pornography.
The court concluded that Honey was a dangerous offender and made him the subject of an extended sentence.
He was given a five year prison term with an extended licence period of four years.
This means he will not be eligible for release until three quarters of the five year sentence has been served and only if the parole board consider he is no longer dangerous.
He was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) which has a number of conditions prohibiting Honey from having contact with children under 16 and limiting any usage of the internet.
'Dark and devious individual'
PC Paula Hayward, from Surrey Police’s paedophile online investigation team, said: "Honey is a dark and devious individual who was adept at using different ways to engage with vulnerable young people online.
"This was a complex case with some victims living thousands of miles away but the evidence we secured now means Honey is now behind bars for a considerable time.
"He has proven to be a prolific and predatory offender.
"And I hope the hearing sends a message that we will leave no stone unturned in bringing those who target young children online to justice.
"This case should also serve as a warning to all parents and young people to be on their guard against individuals like Honey who use a variety of ways such as online gaming to make contact with children."
Go to thinkuknow.co.uk for advice on staying safe online.