Baby-faced groomer, 21, dressed as schoolgirl to stay at victim’s home

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A 21-year-old man from North West London has been jailed after he posed as a child to send young girls sexually explicit pictures.

Anthony Lonsdale, from Wembley, used fake profiles on social media platforms Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp to groom his targets.

He even met up with the young girls while dressed as either a schoolboy or schoolgirl.

Lonsdale once travelled to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire dressed as a schoolgirl to meet a young girl.

He managed to convince the girl’s mother to let him stay over for the night, claiming he had no money to get home.

Lonsdale used the pseudonym ‘Tia’ to communicate with his targets before encouraging them to add an ‘older brother’ called ‘Sam’.

He then used the ‘Sam’ profile to convince the young girl they were in a relationship, sending sexual images in the process.

Further investigations by police helped them identify two other girls from Nottinghamshire who Lonsdale had contacted.

Lonsdale once met a girl at Mcdonald’s disguised as a female friend and tried to get in touch with her younger sister.

When he was blocked, Lonsdale used his other fake accounts to tell the girl he was suicidal and may die.

Police arrested Lonsdale in March 2022 after he was found posing as a schoolboy to try and enrol at a school near Ilkeston in Derbyshire.

While he was on bail, police found evidence relating to more offences on a mobile phone.

Lonsdale was having multiple conversations with teenage girls, and the device also held a number of nude photos.

Lonsdale pleaded guilty to eight counts of grooming and possession of sexually explicit images of children and received a seven-year prison sentence.

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order and five-year restraining order were also put in place to prevent Lonsdale from getting in touch with his victims again.

Detective Sergeant Sophie Draycott of the Child Exploitation Investigation Unit said: “The lengths to which Lonsdale went to by creating several fake personas on social media, to build trust with the victims and even attempting to enroll at the same school as one of the teenagers is unbelievable.

“Behaviour such as this is intolerable, and I would like to recognise the courage of the young girls who worked with us as part of our investigation. As a result, Lonsdale is now facing the consequences of his actions.

“Keeping children and young people safe, both online and in the community, is one of our top priorities and we will continue to work tirelessly to protect them from harm.

“If you are worried or concerned about online child abuse, or for the safety or wellbeing of a child, you can report it to us and there are different ways you can get in touch. Even if you’re not 100 percent sure, please report your concerns. Your information could help our trained officers and staff protect the child.”

If you suspect someone is in immediate danger, call 999 now. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergency SMS service.

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