Lancashire

Chorley teenager describes 'horrific' online grooming ordeal

Kyran Peet
Image caption Kyran Peet said he was duped into believing his abuser was also a teenager

A teenager who was groomed online and abused by an older man at the age of 13 has described his "horrific ordeal".

Kyran Peet was targeted after the 23-year-old befriended him on Facebook and claimed he was also a teenager.

The man was welcomed into Kyran's family home in Chorley, Lancashire, before the abuse began and the teenager eventually reported him to police.

His abuser was jailed indefinitely in 2012 before the sentence was reduced to six years and three months on appeal.

Kyran, now aged 19, has waived his legal right to anonymity to talk about his experience in a bid to support other victims.

Image copyright The Children's Society
Image caption Kyran Peet is now raising money for The Children's Society

He said: "It was obviously a horrific ordeal. Being that young it was not something my brain could comprehend. It moved very quickly, and when you're young you obviously think you're older than you are.

"I had just come out as gay so I was like, I'm ready. Thinking I was more mature.

"Everyone thought we were just friends but I thought I was in love with this guy.

"But there were suspicions. [My family] found it suspicious. There were rumours going around about him."

Kyran said the "turning point" was when he found a message from the abuser's father, revealing his true age.

"I thought if he's lying about his age he must've lied about everything."

Police became involved and his abuser eventually admitted sexual activity with a child at Preston Crown Court.

Image caption Kyran is raising funds ahead of a charity trek in South America

Kyran said: "It wasn't just sexual abuse but psychological abuse too, because he would make me feel like I was crazy when I raised any doubts.

"But I had family and friends around me. That hurt that I'm feeling now, I want to make sure that doesn't happen to anyone else."

Kyran was supported by The Children's Society and has since become an ambassador for the charity,

He is currently trying to raise £2,800 via a charity trek through South America to "give something back".

"The abuse had a big impact on me mentally and emotionally and I was lucky I had a project worker who was there to listen to me and support me," he said.

"It affected me for a while, negatively, but when I started wondering what I wanted to do with my life, one of those things was trying to change other people's lives and trying to provide them with information.

"You don't have to let it destroy your life. You don't have to be scared or ashamed of what's happened to you. You can share your story, you can fundraise."

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