Leicester man Henri Pinney 'posed as women to lure boys'

Henri Pinney

A man has gone on trial accused of committing sex offences against dozens of schoolboys after posing as young women on the internet.

Henri Pinney, 22, of Wynfield Road, Leicester, denies 40 separate charges against boys aged between 10 and 17.

They include making indecent photographs and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

The prosecution allege Mr Pinney was caught when the fake accounts and pictures were linked to his devices.

Michelle Heeley QC, prosecuting, claimed in her opening statement at Leicester Crown Court, that he had pretended to be a host of young girls, using various social media accounts on his own mobile phone and tablet.

He then used these accounts to make contact with the boys, asking them to send him indecent pictures of themselves.

About 30 boys were targeted between the start of 2015 and the end of 2017, the court was told.

Image caption Henri Pinney denies encouraging an 11-year-old boy to watch pornography

The prosecution said when police later searched Mr Pinney's home they found numerous images of the boys on his devices.

They also discovered the images of young women that had been used as profile pictures on the accounts he had used.

The jury was told the question they needed to answer was either somebody had managed to get hold of all of Mr Pinney's devices, and use them without his knowledge, or that he had done it himself.

It is claimed police had evidence of him using a video messaging service on these devices, at the same time as the alleged victims were being contacted from them.

The prosecution have also said some of the accounts set up to contact the boys were created in places like North Yorkshire and Jersey, while Mr Pinney was on holiday there.

The court was told he had already admitted three charges of sharing indecent images with a boy, who was 15 at the time, claiming they were in a consensual relationship.

He denies the other charges, including encouraging an 11-year-old boy to watch pornography.

The trial at Leicester Crown Court is expected to last seven weeks.

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