Man who used social media to form inappropriate relationships jailed Date published: 9th June 2017 2.45pm

A man who preyed on vulnerable teenage girls for his own sexual gratification has been jailed.

Andrew Griffin, 47, of Brocklehurst Avenue, Macclesfield, has been sentenced to a total of four years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent photographs of a child and two counts of inciting a girl between the age of 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity. In addition he was made subject to an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.

Griffin was originally arrested in January 2016 on following a warrant at his former home on The Commons in Sandbach. During the warrant officers seized a number of items, including a laptop, mobile phone and an external hard drive.

All of the items were examined by a specialist officer from Cheshire Police, leading to the discovery of more than 400 Category A images & videos, over 70 Category B images & videos and more than 2700 Category C images & videos.

Officers also discovered that Griffin had created a number of fake social media profiles in order to form relationships with vulnerable teenage girls. After gaining their trust, he would then ask the girls to engage in sexual activity via webcams.

After conducting an investigation detectives charged Griffin with six offences relating to the making and possession of indecent images of children and two counts of inciting females to engage in sexual activity.

Detective Constable Simon Ledger said: “During this investigation we not only uncovered over 3,000 inappropriate images, but we also proved that Griffin used social media in order to form relationships with vulnerable teenage girls from across the UK.

“Throughout questioning Griffin openly admitted that he knew what he had done was wrong, and while he has shown some remorse for what he did, that will not change the long term mental harm he has caused to these vulnerable children.

“I hope that the sentence handed to Griffin provides reassurance for the local community and also acts as a warning for other potential offenders. The message is clear, paedophiles cannot hide online, the internet leaves a digital footprint and rest assured we will find it, and we will take action.”