Limavady schoolgirl 'groomed' on social media site

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Media captionThe girl had sent photographs of herself to the stranger and a failed attempt had been made to get the child to add other social media applications to her mobile phone, as Keiron Tourish reports

The father of a schoolgirl from Limavady, County Londonderry, has warned parents to be vigilant after she was groomed on a social media site.

He told BBC Radio Foyle that he found out his daughter was communicating with a stranger and sharing photographs when he checked her private messages.

The father has not been identified in order to protect his daughter.

The police said they are aware of the "inappropriate behaviour on a social media site" and are investigating.

The father said he set up Facebook accounts for his daughters which he "monitored closely because of the their age".

"Once a month I would go through it and give it a good check to make sure nothing untoward has happened," he said.

"On Sunday, I just had this gut feeling. Something just told me to look a bit deeper into their accounts.

"So I did my eldest daughter's first and that was all fine. I went through my youngest daughter's [account] and that's when I discovered she was being groomed."

He said he discovered his daughter had been communicating with the stranger via private Facebook messages for about a month.

She had sent photographs of herself to the stranger and a failed attempt had been made to get the child to add other social media applications to her mobile phone.

Her father said the stranger had "played on her emotions" and threatened to cut off contact unless she sent him "more and more photographs".

"I'm still outraged by it. I just had to hand it all over to the police," he added.

When the girl's parents talked to her about the messages, her father said: "She was that naive, she didn't even realise she had done anything wrong."

"Thank God I managed to get it when I did, before any meetings or anything were set up."

He said he wanted to protect his daughter from the abuse he suffered as a child.

"I was abused when I was a kid myself and I've got over the worst of it. I've come out the other side of it a lot stronger than what I had been.

"The rollercoaster I was on, emotionally, nearly drove me mad, and I wouldn't wish that on anybody."