A pedophile who posed as Justin Bieber online to trick young victims into sending sexual photos of themselves has been sentenced to 14 years in a British prison.
Middlesbrough man Robert Hunter used Facebook and instant messaging to lure girls and boys as young as nine to expose themselves or perform sexual acts in front of their web cams.
He then blackmailed his victims by threatening to post his victims’ videos online.
Hunter pleaded guilty to 30 charges, including 15 counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and 14 of making indecent photos of children.
More than 800 videos were gathered as evidence from Hunter’s home, some containing images of children from the UK, France, Italy Spain, Serbia, Canada and Asia.
The 35-year-old man often posed as teenager, sometimes claiming to be Justin Bieber, in order to abuse his victims.
One victim, a -12-year-old girl, slashed her arms after indecent photos of her, along with her home address and phone number, were posted to Facebook.
Even after his arrest in 2012, Hunter continued to offend.
Judge Peter Bowers described it as one of the worst cases of sexual abuse over the internet that he had ever heard.
"It represents callous, almost sadistic exploitation over a number of years preying on girls' naivety who were undermined by their own behaviour," he said.