Instagram baby photo thief banned from social media
A woman who stole photos of babies from Instagram and claimed they were sick or dead in a bid to get money has been banned from social media.
Kati Ringer, 21, claimed the pictures, copied from accounts belonging to two unsuspecting mums, were her own.
When challenged by her victims, Ringer became abusive and threatening, Norwich Magistrates' Court heard.
Ringer, of Soleme Road, Norwich, admitted two malicious communications offences.
Ringer was caught after police traced her IP address to a computer at her mother's house.
She was sentenced to a two-year criminal behaviour order which bans her from using any social media accounts, passing any other person's photo off as her own or asking any third party for a donation unless as a legitimate volunteer for a registered charity.
Ringer was also handed a jail term of 30 weeks, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £225 costs.
Jane Walker, prosecuting, said Ringer had targeted two women, copying photos of their babies from their Instagram accounts and reposting them on her own "saying they were her child, the child had died and trying to get money".
She said when challenged by the first victim, Ringer "became threatening towards her and made threats to rape and harm the child".
The court heard Ringer sent the mother a "laughing face" emoji on Instagram, then a further message saying "I've already posted pictures saying she's dead, I've got £600 so far".
When the victim accused Ringer of being jealous, Ms Walker said, the defendant replied: "Jealous of a disgusting little runt that should have been drowned at birth."
Ringer targeted the second victim by using images of her prematurely born daughter.
"The victim challenged the suspect and asked she stop using the images," said Ms Walker.
"It was then that she said she would find out where the victim lived and kidnap and rape her daughter.
"She was using the picture of the victim's baby reporting to people that the baby was premature, that she was seriously ill, struggling to pay for her treatment and funeral."
Ian Fisher, mitigating, said Ringer pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and a number of events in her life had contributed to her "lacking any ability to empathise".
He said of the offences: "They are made possible by the advent of quite complex social media forms on the internet, and the defendant set about something that no normal, decent human being would do."