A computer repair technician who used a social media site aimed at young teenagers in order to befriend girls and sexually abuse them over the internet has been jailed in England.
Derek Hutton was sentenced to 10 years today after using the “tween” website Movie Star Planet (MSP) – which allows users to create their own movie star persona – to approach more than 500 girls via the site’s chat function.
Using usernames like “BigDaddy” or “HornyDaddy” the 48-year-old would strike up a conversation with the girl and make sexualised comments to her. He would be careful to misspell certain sexual words to ensure he wasn’t flagged up by the site’s security systems and blocked by its moderators.
The IT specialist would ask the girls to move on to either Skype or ooVoo – both of which allow live chat over webcam – where he would ask them to perform sex acts on camera or send him naked photos. He would also perform sex acts on himself while his victims watched, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.
Hutton set up over 407 usernames on the site after they were repeatedly blocked, but MSP was able to link them together – because he always used the same password – and informed the police. The site is specifically aimed at children between the age of 11 and 15, and Hutton tried to contact dozens of different children from each of his 407 accounts.
Hutton had installed visual private network (VPN) software to prevent investigators tracing his IP address, and the National Crime Agency initially believed he could be based in the US before they managed to link him back to his home address in Harrow, England.
When he was arrested on June 13, 2016, he told officers: “It’s like, when I’m alone, I get sexually frustrated, then I go on there [MSP] and do that sort of thing. “Then, when it’s over, I just feel absolutely horrified and disgusted.”
Hutton, of Railway Approach, later pleaded guilty to three counts of causing a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity and one count of causing a girl aged between 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity in relation to seven victims between January 2015 and May 2016.
He further admitted five counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and two counts of making indecent images of children in relation to the same seven girls. Hutton also admitted a multiple incident count of attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child in relation to around 500 unidentified victims between August 2014 and June 2016.
He admitted a multiple incident count of engaging in sexual activity with a child in relation to approximately 250 children, and a final charge of inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity in relation to around 50 children during the same period.
Jessica Russell-Mitra, for Hutton, emphasised that he had never tried to meet any of the victims face to face, and he had always been honest about his age. She added that he pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity and was seeking help for his problem.
Jailing Hutton for 10 years, Judge Henry Blacksell QC said: “We live in a complex world where people are reliant on their computers and electronic equipment, and young people especially.
“Huge concern is expressed about people having access to children by virtue of such equipment.
“You were a self-employed computer technician. It gave you expertise which you applied in a destructive, corrupt, manipulative and predatory way.”
Martin Ludlow, a spokesman for the NCA’s Child Online Exploitation Command, said: “Hutton’s offending was obsessive and continuous over almost two years. “The administrators of Movie Star Planet reported Hutton the moment they became aware of him and gave their full assistance to our investigation.
“Their swift action and continuing help to our officers prevented further exploitation of children taking place. “The NCA have identified and safeguarded victims to make sure they have the support they need.”