Essex

Ex-Halstead youth councillor jailed for grooming schoolboys

Connor Allen-Howe Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Connor Allen-Howe was caught after a Colorado schoolboy alerted his parents

A former youth politician who posed as a teenage girl on Skype to groom boys as young as 12 has been jailed.

Connor Allen-Howe had an archive of material showing underage victims performing sex acts.

Some were asked to drink their own urine while others were made to take part in sexual activity with siblings and dogs, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Sentencing him to eight years, judge Emma Peters said the 21-year-old had "deeply troubling perversions".

The former youth councillor from Halstead, Essex, was also put on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period.

He admitted 21 counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, eight of coursing or inciting child pornography and two of having indecent images, at an earlier hearing.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Chelmsford Crown Court heard Allen-Howe had an archive of material

Allen-Howe's actions came to light when a boy from Colorado, in the US, alerted his parents.

A child exploitation team in the States contacted Essex Police and the defendant was arrested.

It emerged he had begun contacting schoolchildren when he was 16 and a member of Halstead Youth Council.

He told victims, targeted between November 2012 and June 2015, his webcam was broken so he could not be identified.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Connor Allen-Howe's actions came to light when a boy from Colorado, in the US, alerted his parents

At sentencing, Judge Peters said: "You have deeply troubling perversions. You were calm and controlling.

"There were a significant number of victims, with 15 of them being under the age of 16.

"Had you committed all of the crimes when you were over 18 years of age, you would be looking at a much higher sentence."

Michelle Brown, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This case is a shocking warning of the dangers that exist online, not only of how easy it is for a stranger to make contact with young boys, but also to persuade them to carry out sexual acts on camera.

"In some instances, these acts were committed on children younger than themselves or involved pet dogs."

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