Man who posed as schoolboy pestering young girls for naked photos jailed

Mark Taft, 27, formerly of Willow Avenue in Kirkby-in-Ashfield

A man who asked young girls for naked photos while pretending to be a 14-year-old schoolboy has been jailed for three years and three months.

Mark Taft, 27, formerly of Willow Avenue in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, got in touch with girls aged between 12 and 17 under a pseudonym.

He engaged in sexual conversations with them and requested naked images of them.

On Friday March 24, Taft pleaded guilty to 13 child sex offences including causing and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing or inciting child exploitation and making indecent images of children.

He was sentenced today (Friday June 16) at Nottingham Crown Court and was also given a sexual harm prevention order and will sign the sex offenders register for life.

Detective Sergeant Paul Lefford of Nottinghamshire Police said: “This has been a very complex and lengthy investigation.

“After receiving an initial report about Taft, we established several lines of enquiry and more and more victims were identified.

“Taft is a dangerous individual who would have kept on trying to groom young girls.

“I would like to thank all of the girls and families involved for their bravery and cannot stress the importance of being aware of online grooming.

“I’d also like to thank the officers who worked tirelessly to compile such a strong case against Taft and secure all the evidence against him.

“We will continue to actively pursue child sex offenders and will not tolerate the sexual exploitation of children in any way.”

Taft was arrested in September 2016 after the father of one of the victims contacted police having found sexual conversations between a male and his 12-year-old daughter on the family tablet.

Officers identified the fake Facebook profile as belonging to Taft.

He was charged and remanded in custody and a major investigation was launched, which included extensive digital forensic work across the UK and Northern Ireland.

If you have any concerns about online grooming or any information that could help police investigate such incidents, contact 101.