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Labourer who posed as a multimillionaire to prey on teenage girls jailed

A labourer who posed as a multimillionaire to lure teenage girls into sending him obscene photos before threatening them with violence has been jailed for nine years – with a further four years on extended licence, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Sadistic Jake Wright even bullied one of his victims into taking an overdose while on a video call after telling her she should take her own life.

The 29-year-old groomed three teenage girls aged between 15 and 17 whom he met on Snapchat, lying that he was a wealthy playboy with £300 million in his bank account and access to a string of lavish homes.

In reality he was a labourer doing odd jobs, living in Chingford, east London.

Wright was jailed for causing sexual exploitation of a child, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, paying for sexual services of a child, making indecent photographs of a child and threats to kill, at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

A Met Police spokesman said the court ruled that Wright posed a high risk of harm to children and the general public.

As well as the prison sentence, he was made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order – which limits future use of the internet and contact with children.

The judge also issued indefinite restraining orders preventing Wright from having future contact with any of the four victims – and the defendant was also barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.

The force spokesman added that forfeiture and destruction orders were issued for seized digital devices, decommissioned firearms and a swastika flag.

Wright used screenshots of fake bank statements to give the impression that he had millions of pounds and was living the life of a wealthy playboy.

But Wright’s lies unravelled at the end of a police hunt that began in September 2022, when the family of a teenage girl he had groomed made a report to the Metropolitan Police.

Four months earlier, he had contacted her on Snapchat, gradually gaining her trust until he offered her £12,000 for sexual photographs of herself, later getting her friend to feature in the images too.

As his demands continued the victims eventually refused to take more photos, but he threatened them over video calls, sending photographs of him holding a gun, and lied that he had a brother with terrorist connections.

He sent them horrifying videos of beheadings, and threatened to send the obscene images to their family and friends, which he subsequently did.

The victims did not know who Wright was, but once detectives identified him they realised he was linked to two other cases, one in the West Midlands and one in the City of London.

He had used the same tactics to target the victim in the Midlands in March 2022, but gave her the ultimatum of either coming to London to be raped by him; having the obscene images sent to her family and friends; or to kill herself.

Wright contacted victims on Snapchat (Alamy/PA)
Wright contacted victims on Snapchat (Alamy/PA)

This led to the harrowing video call in which she took an overdose and was lucky to survive.

Detective Constable Samantha Thompson, the investigating officer, said: “I would like to commend the victims in this harrowing case, who have been truly traumatised by Wright.

“The memory of these horrific crimes will remain with them and their families for the rest of their lives. I hope this sentencing will bring them some peace.

“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure sexual predators who make our streets unsafe for women and girls are brought to justice.

“If you have been a victim of a sexual offence, we would urge you to speak to police so that you can get the support you deserve.”

The City of London case in October 2022 involved a 17-year-old girl who was also groomed via Snapchat.

Wright offered the girl £60,000 to meet him at a hotel and have sex with him, but he then refused to pay her.

He was arrested days later and when police searched his home they found four decommissioned guns.

Detective Chief Inspector Jo Lloyd from the Met’s Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation team, said: “Our priority is to safeguard children at risk and pursue offenders who orchestrate this abuse through grooming and/or direct contact abuse.

“Prevention is key and we know we cannot do this alone.

“We are working with education and schools officers to ensure schools, parents and children have the information available to identify any potential risks and support age appropriate conversations around keeping children safe.

“We want to continue to encourage parents and young people to take appropriate steps to remain safe online.

“The internet can be a great space for young people to play, socialise and learn, and offers wonderful opportunities. However, it can be used by offenders to prey on young people and commit serious offences.

“I want to urge parents to have conversations with their children about online safety, learn how their children use the internet and, if they notice any behavioural changes in their child, ask questions and explore if there is something worrying them.

“If you have any concerns about online child abuse we would urge you to call police on 101, or 999 in an emergency – we have specially trained officers who will listen and investigate where needed.”