A man from Salford has been jailed after making fake social media profiles in order to sexually abuse a child.
Brandon Cooper, of Brooke House Avenue Eccles, was sentenced to one year and four months in prison after pleading guilty to inciting a child to commit a sexual act.
The boy, who was just 13 at the time, had received a number of messages from an account run by Cooper, posing as a well known local bodybuilder.
Cooper proceed to send messages of a sexual nature to the 13-year-old in order to incite him into a sexual act.
Greater Manchester Police were alerted to Cooper’s actions by the child’s father in August 2018 after he became concerned about the nature of the social media messages.
The man who Cooper used for the fake account was originally arrested, before Police quickly found the true owner of the account and the truth of Coopers actions revealed his innocence.
Detective Constable Tina Jackson, of GMP’s Project Phoenix team in Bury, said: “Cooper’s actions could easily have robbed a young person of his childhood. It is only due to the resilience of this young victim that he feels able to put this incident behind him and move on. Considering his age this is remarkable, however nothing should take away from the severity of Cooper’s abuse.
“In impersonating an innocent man in an attempt to veil his identity and sadistically lure the young victim in, Cooper spared no thought for the consequences of his actions and the damage he could have done to another, innocent person’s life.
“This investigation only goes to reiterate the need to be safe online and the fact that you can never be 100% certain who is behind a computer screen. So, I would speak directly to parents and guardians and stress the need to discuss with their children the risks of modern-day social networking sites and how they can keep safe online.”
For information on protecting children from Child Sexual Exploitation and how to seek support or report concerns visit www.itsnotokay.co.uk