Norfolk roofer jailed for vile catalogue of abuse against young boys

David Wilson arrest

Police arrest David Wilson at his home in King's Lynn, in August 2017 - Credit: National Crime Agency

A predatory paedophile who preyed on young boys has been jailed for 25 years.

David Wilson, 36, from King's Lynn admitted 96 child sex crimes against 51 victims at a hearing in November.

They included intentionally causing or inciting boys to engage in sexual activity, blackmail, intentionally causing children to look at sexual images and intentionally facilitating the sexual exploitation of children by sending on images of those children.

David Wilson

Officers begin the search of David Wilson's home in King's Lynn, in August 2017 - Credit: National Crime Agency

Today he appeared to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court.

David Wilson, 36, was prosecuted for 96 child sex abuse offences relating to 52 victims, but the National Crime Agency (NCA) said it has evidence that he approached more than 5,000 children globally. The agency said as many as 500 of them sent abuse material to Wilson, of Kirstead, King's Lynn, Norfolk.

Wilson pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Ipswich Crown Court to all 96 counts. He was sentenced at the same court on Wednesday and will also serve a further eight years on extended licence when his prison term ends.

Judge Rupert Overbury, sentencing Wilson, described his crimes as among the worst he had seen over his 40-year career.

He told him: "You carried out a lengthy and premeditated campaign of sadistic and manipulative abuse of young boys using social media.

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"Any decent human being will be astonished at the level of depravity involved. You demonstrated a complete and utter disregard for every child you manipulated irrespective of their age.

"There was a sadistic element to your offending including blackmail and a relentless targeting of vulnerable children who often pleaded for mercy."

He added: "You are in my judgement an extremely dangerous individual who has a perverted and sadistic sexual interest in young boys. On the facts presented to the court you can properly be described as a serial paedophile."

Former roofer Wilson set up a series of fake social media profiles, using unregistered phones, to send images of girls from the internet to young boys in exchange for the boys sending him videos and images of themselves, the NCA said.

Wilson then threatened to distribute these online unless they sent more extreme footage of themselves, in some cases of them abusing younger siblings or friends, the agency said.

The 52 victims in the case were all boys aged between four and 14 and the offending happened between May 2016 and April 2020.

The offences uncovered during a five year investigation included causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to watch a sexual act, and arranging or facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child.

Wilson also admitted making unwarranted demands for indecent images of a child with menace, threatening to post an indecent image on social media if they did not comply.

Wilson would not have been brought to justice without evidence from Facebook, according to the NCA.

Rob Jones, the agency's director of threat leadership, said the social media giant's proposed move to an end-to-end encryption privacy model "poses an existential threat to child protection" online.

A Facebook spokesman said: "Child exploitation and grooming have no place on our platforms."

NCA head of operations Tony Cook said: "David Wilson has absolutely devastated not only his victims but the families they belong to.

Tony Cook

Tony Cook, head of operations at the National Crime Agency - Credit: NCA

“He has caused heart-breaking suffering and huge disruption to the lives of those he targeted from the problems his abuse caused.

“Wilson preyed on their vulnerability. They genuinely believed they were talking to a teenage girl who was interested in them.

“He groomed, bullied and blackmailed young boys into sending him indecent images and in some instances performing horrific abuse on themselves and others. Despite knowing their utter anguish and despair he ignored their pleas from him to stop.

“He retained indecent material and threatened to share it among victims’ friends so he could maintain control of them.

“Sadly there are many offenders out there like Wilson who use the internet to hide their real identities, using convincing personas to groom children.

“I urge parents to speak with their children about who they communicate with online and what they share. People need to understand this can happen to anyone."