A man has been sentenced to five years and four months imprisonment at York Crown Court today for offences against children.
Mark Vincent, 47, from the London area, used the internet to target his young victims and he harassed them for years, between 2011 and 2014. He posed as a teenager online, demanding attention and for victims to send photographs of themselves.
Two girls from the Selby area of North Yorkshire, after years of suffering at the hands of Vincent’s demands and harassment, turned to police and other trusted professionals.
It was only by sheer chance that one of the girls saw a screen reflection of Vincent’s face, realising she was communicating with a much older, adult man.
She broke contact and contacted police while at the same time Vincent, in a rage at losing his control, messaged her family and friends threatening to publish images of her unless she contacted him.
It was in doing this that the second child victim was sent sick and abusive voice-mails and texts demanding she arrange contact. Vincent threatened to post faceless pornographic images to family, schools and public places falsely naming the girl in the pictures as the victim.
North Yorkshire Police were quickly able to identify Vincent. A warrant for his arrest was issued and officers from Surrey police arrested Vincent in November 2015. More than 60 computer and mobile phone exhibits were seized from his home. A full investigation took place, which uncovered the extent of Vincent’s abuse.
DC John Atkinson, of the York Serious Crime Team, said: “Mark Vincent is a man in his late forties who has behaved in the most cruel and callous way towards children.
“It was shocking to see laid out in messages, children talking about needing to do homework or attend school clubs only to have Vincent overwhelm them with demands and threats until they gave in to his will.
“A child talking about self-harm or ending her life did nothing to even reduce his demands. With two of his victims he talked about marriage, only for one to remind him that at fourteen they were both a bit young.
“I praise the victims for coming forward and seeking help. These children were genuinely frightened by the threats made by Vincent, and I’m sure at times if they wondered that there was any way out.
“I want the victims to feel proud they have managed to bring an end to their abuse, and also ended abuse for many other of Vincent’s victims.
“I also want to encourage anyone who thinks they are being targeted or bullied online to come forward. Come and talk to the police, we take all reports of this type of crime seriously and we will listen to you and support you every step of the way.”
Last modified: June 15, 2016