In the Media

Facebook sex predator jailed and banned from using the site

PUBLISHED May 18, 2012

Ryan Chambers, 19, set up a number of profiles and then bombarded under age girls with flattering messages in the hope they would "rise to the bait" and respond.

Described as a "manipulative loner", Aylesbury Crown Court heard how he would invite the girls, some as young as 13 to his flat, where he would persuade them to have consensual sex.

Chambers was found guilty of eight counts of sexual activity with a child, involving four girls.

But the court heard that police found a list containing more than 1,000 names and mobile phone numbers of under age girls he had contacted via Facebook.

Chambers entered into brief relationships with some of the girls and threatened to harm himself if they tried to break it off.

In one case he even threatened to burn a young girl's home if she stopped seeing him.

Sentencing him, Judge Ronald Moss said: "Despite your young age you are a sexual predator. What you did by using Facebook was hope that somebody would rise to the bait and would be flattered by your comments. You would then chance your arm with them.

"You flattered them. All were young, under the age of 16 and somewhat immature. They welcomed your flattery and you were quite practised in giving it."

When the girls tried to break free from the controlling relationship, Chambers would guilt trip them into staying with him, the judge said.

Judge Moss added: "You threatened to burn the house down of one of your victims if they stopped contact with you. And on more than one occasion you threatened to commit suicide yourself."

Police were alerted to Chambers by the mother of one of his 14-year-old victims who was concerned her daughter was being groomed over the internet.

When officers raided his flat in June, last year they found lists containing more than 1,000 names and mobile phone numbers.

While on bail for these offences police found Chambers at the flat with a 14-year-old girl who had been reported missing by her worried parents.

After being remanded in custody analysis of his computer found he had set up 11 Facebook profiles under various names in order to lure his victims.

Judge Moss said: "These offences were serious, carefully planned and caused a great deal of anxiety, not necessarily for the victims, but for their parents."

In mitigation his defence lawyer, Nadia Chbat said Chambers had become addicted to Facebook and had used "flawed" judgment in the way he used it.

She said: "His use of Facebook became prolific. The addictive nature of Facebook gave the illusion that these people were friends. It took bite of this young man in a catastrophic way."

He was sentenced to three years and nine months in total and was banned from using a social networking site for six years as part of a sexual offences prevention order. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.

After finding the lists at his address police contacted more than 800 parents to check if their children had been contacted by Chambers via Facebook.

Chambers had been living alone in his father's flat in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire when he carried out his actions.

Speaking after the case investigating officer Detective Sergeant Sally Kestin, of the Child Abuse Investigation Unit at Thames Valley Police, said: "Ryan Chambers is a very dangerous and predatory young man who has a prolific desire to groom his victims in order to sexually abuse them.

He added: "The sheer number of girls involved meant we had to carry out a thorough and sensitive investigation, working closely with local schools and relevant agencies from MK Council, who were very supportive of our enquiries.

"We sent out a letter to more than 800 parents asking them to speak to their children to see if they had made contact with Chambers through Facebook or by text between summer 2010 and July 2011.

"We had a fantastic response from parents who were pleased police were dealing with a case like this and provided us with information crucial to our inquiry.

"As a result of the investigation we established Chambers had sexually abused four girls, all aged between 13 and 15 years old, and I would like to pay tribute to their bravery in disclosing the offences against them."