February 2015

Willenhall teen tricked children as young as 11 years old into posing naked online

A teenager is facing a lengthy jail term after tricking young girls into posing naked over the internet in exchange for fake modelling contracts and gifts.

Adam Cooke preyed on six victims by using fake Facebook accounts he had set up in the names of girls.

The names included 14-year-old singer-songwriter Lauren Thalia, who made the semi finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

The 18-year-old, of Willenhall, told girls aged between 11 and 14 he could get them modelling contracts and a meet and greet with One Direction in return for posing naked on webcam.

Mr Glyn Samuel, prosecuting, said it had been a ‘short-lived but planned campaign’ by Cooke to gain sexual gratification.

In August 2013, officers from the child online safeguarding team sought the assistance of police to serve a search warrant on Cooke’s address following a tip-off. They seized a computer and Cooke was later arrested.

The court heard that at that time Cooke had been volunteering as a young Scout leader and was working with children as young as six.

Mr Samuel said police found evidence that girls had been tricked to believe they would be offered modelling contracts if they showed their naked or partially-naked bodies to their webcams so he could watch.

Cooke contacted the girls through the fake accounts and they only spoke to him via typed text.

He also drew up and sent some of them fake modelling contracts, which the girls showed to their parents who told them to ignore it.

Mr Samuel said he offered to set up a meet and greet with One Direction for some girls and one of the victims was offered the chance to go to a modelling shoot in London.

Cooke was found to have downloaded almost 70 indecent images of children, including 22 in the most serious category.

Mr Samuel said he was in possession of around 50 indecent images and videos he had made himself, including five in the most serious category.

Cooke, of Trentham Avenue, admitted eight counts of causing or inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, three counts of possessing indecent images of children and three counts of taking indecent images of children.

Judge Martin Walsh adjourned the case for psychiatric reports and Cooke is due to be sentenced at the court on April 29.

But he told him: “This is a very troubling case. A substantial imprisonment will follow.”

Cooke was given conditional bail.