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Cambridgeshire man pretended to be soldier to groom teenage girl

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A man set up a fake profile online pretending to be soldier so he could groom a teenage girl.

Michael Hewitt, 19, had failed to start a relationship with the girl so he set up a fake social media account in March 2020 and contacted the victim – immediately asking for sex.

The victim, who was 15 at the time, did not respond. However, Hewitt persisted, and the victim began to reply.

Over time, he tricked her into starting an online relationship with the fictional soldier who claimed to be serving in Afghanistan.

After messaging for several weeks, and after constant requests, the victim sent him intimate photos and videos.

Hewitt then began mentioning himself in messages sent by his alias to the victim.

On 12 May, Hewitt sent an email to the victim from another fake account, claiming to be the father of his alias.

The message claimed the “soldier” had died in Afghanistan and that his dying wish was for the victim to start a relationship with Hewitt.

The victim’s mother became concerned about the relationship after not seeing any British military deaths reported in the news and contacted police.

Police visited Hewitt to speak to him about his friendship with the soldier. He denied knowledge of the man and the investigation continued.

He was later arrested by East Cambridgeshire officers, his electronic devices seized and the IP address at his home linked to messages supposedly sent by the fake soldier and the soldier’s father.

Hewitt, of Swaffham Prior, Cambridge, denied two counts of causing or inciting a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity, but was found guilty by a jury at Cambridge Crown Court.

On Friday (2 December) at Peterborough Crown Court he was jailed for 18 months.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years.

Michael Hewitt, 19, had failed to start a relationship with the girl so he set up a fake social media account in March 2020 and contacted the victim – immediately asking for sex.

PC Guy Spencer said: “Hewitt went to great lengths to complete this deception and take advantage of the victim.

“She fully believed Hewitt’s alias was real and the online relationship was genuine. To deceive someone and then abuse that trust is awful.

“I hope that Hewitt spends his 18 months in custody considering the impact his actions have had on the victim and her family.

“Finally, I would like to thank the victim for her courage in giving evidence and her patience for what has been a long investigation.”

 

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