Prolific online paedophile who exploited children as young as seven years old jailed

Jordan Croft, 26, abused dozens of girls online over a two year period

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A prolific online paedophile who exploited children as young at seven years old has been jailed for 26 years.

Jordan Croft, 26, abused dozens of girls online over a two year period before being caught by officers from the National Crime Agency.

Croft, an IT worker from Worthing in West Sussex, forced his victims to become his ‘sex slaves’, and blackmailed them into sending photos and videos performing sexual and other degrading acts on themselves and others.

He pleaded guilty in August this year to 65 charges, including multiple counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, blackmail and making unwarranted demands for indecent images of children. 24 out of his 26 victims were under 18 years of age.

Jordan Croft
Jordan Croft

Croft, who was 22 at the time, used catfishing techniques to message 5000 social media users, hooking in individuals and moving his contact with them to an encrypted chat site.

After getting them to send him a nude ‘custom pic’ of his choosing, he used this to make demands for increasingly depraved and graphic content.

He set a list of rules they had to adhere to, which included moving their conversation to encrypted platform Telegram and sending any photos or videos he asked for.

Many were forced to film themselves verbally confirming that they were entering into his “contract of sexual slavery”.

If the girls did not comply or asked to be released from the contract, he would set punishments and threaten to expose them to their family or social media followers.

NCA officers arrested Croft in September 2019 after identifying him as the man behind various usernames which featured in reports of online abuse filed by a number of police forces in England.

The offending dated back to April 2018.

Numerous devices, including Croft’s two mobile phones and a USB stick, were seized for analysis, which led to the NCA uncovering the full extent of his offences, including a further 19 victims.

Both phones were partially encrypted. Croft had saved the abuse material his victims sent him, tagged with their names and ages, along with a list of their social media followers.

Further indecent images of children were found on the USB stick which also contained a portable operating system.

When plugged in to a computer, the system was designed to ensure nothing was written to the computer’s hard disk and all trace of activity was deleted.

Investigators linked him to 20 online profiles across four different messaging platforms. Chat logs showed that Croft initially pretended to be a teenage boy in order to befriend his victims, but once content they were going to follow his rules, he revealed his true age and admitted to being a “catfish” and a “pedo [sic] into girls 12-14”.

Croft, an IT worker from Worthing in West Sussex, forced his victims to become his ‘sex slaves’
Croft, an IT worker from Worthing in West Sussex, forced his victims to become his ‘sex slaves’

He also told many of them he had a degree in cyber security and had masked his online identity so he could not be traced by law enforcement.

Croft’s offending included forcing his victims to sexually abuse themselves and other children, in some cases as young as 7, on demand, as well as filming themselves urinating and defecating.

He also exerted his control by making them ask for permission to go to the toilet and let him know when they were going to be busy, so he didn’t think they were ignoring him.

During the sentencing hearing at Lewes Crown Court, victim impact statements were read out.

Several victims spoke of how Croft’s abuse had affected them: "I want you to know that I hate what you did to me and I hope you rot in hell.”

“All I could think about was how you violated me and I needed to remove the parts of me that people may have seen in the images. I couldn’t look at myself, at my body in the mirror.”

“Your atrocious actions have ruined the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of young girls who will never forget or allow themselves to forget what you did to them. Like me they will always live with the thought what you did to us, eating away at our happiness and ourselves as a whole.”

“You told us the police would never find you, but, here we are today to prove you were never as untouchable as you thought. From now on people will know you as nothing more than a cruel , twisted, pathetic paedophile.”

“I want you to suffer as much as I suffered emotionally and physically. You make me sick. You make me so angry.

There are words that I want to say to you, but, you aren’t worth the effort and I am more dignified than that.

You’ve made me suffer long enough and now it’s your turn. I hope you burn in hell.” Martin Ludlow, senior investigating officer at the National Crime Agency, said: “Jordan Croft is a prolific offender who has caused heart-breaking suffering to many victims and their families.

“The sexual depravity he consistently displayed during this abuse of both young female children and adults is horrific.

“Like many offenders Croft thrived on the power he was able to exert over the victims. He sought the feeling of control and obtained it by deceit and abuse.

“He showed no compassion for the victims, pushing them to breaking point and issuing threats, even when they begged him to stop.

“I commend these young women who have shown such bravery in speaking out against him.

“Croft is an example of an adult sexual offender who deploys plausible online profiles to hide their real identity and exploit children.

“We know children are increasingly sharing personal material on social media sites, but I urge them be aware of the hurt and long term damage manipulative offenders like Croft cause, and to think carefully about who they may be communicating with online.

The NCA says the threat to children of online sexual abuse is constantly on the increase. Chris Farrimond, the Agency’s Director of Threat Leadership told GB News that there are currently up to 850,000 people in the UK who pose sexual risks to children.

The NCA arrested over 10,000 online sex offenders last year but officers are unable to investigate all cases as there simply isn’t the manpower to do so.

Developments in online technology are helping abusers to carry out crimes and in many instances, as in the case of Jordan Croft, they are targeting children on the open web via social media channels.

It’s understood that NCA bosses are in continuing talks with big tech companies to try to contain the problem but online paedophiles are finding ever more devious ways to evade the authorities.