July 2018

Police warn about Live.Me app after cyber sex beast groomed ‘countless children’ online

This is the moment police caught up with a cyber sex beast who could have abused children all over the world, without even leaving his home.

Posing as a teenage boy online, pervert pensioner Michael Coulter was able to contact countless young victims from his Newcastle flat, where he used his Ipad to record indecent images of children being abused, from a live-streaming site.

But now thanks to the actions of one worried North East mum, who contacted police when she found messages from Coulter on her daughter’s phone, the fiend is beginning a long jail sentence.

Chronicle Live was given exclusive behind the scenes access to the work of Northumbria Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), on the morning Coulter was arrested.

And now detectives have lifted the lid on how the pervert pensioner was snared as they reveal that work is still going on to trace Coulter’s potential victims, around the globe.

To his neighbours in Kenton, Coulter would have appeared to be a harmless, unassuming pensioner.

But behind closed doors he was spending around five hours a day on the live-streaming app, LiveMe, which is popular with teenagers, where he would type out sexual demands while posing as a teenage boy called ‘Geordie Mike’ to dupe vulnerable underage girls, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Over a period of almost 14 years he amassed a mountain of filthy child abuse images. And after police seized his computers and devices tests revealed his hard drives were bulging with over 10,000 pictures and videos.

Coulter amassed 1,500 contacts, mainly young girls, on the app, prosecutor Jolyon Perks explained.

He spent £50-a-month on ‘diamonds’, a crypto-currency used on Live.me which he gifted to get his profile to the top of streams.

Once there, he made filthy demands – including one in which he told two young girls “I want more booby”, the court was told.

He was the “principal contributor of diamonds” in another stream in which dozens of perverts watched as a girl, thought to be aged around nine, was sexually assaulted.

And in another encounter, he tricked a 17-year-old girl to shower for him.

Mr Perks said: “She addresses the defendant as if she believes she’s speaking to a young male.”

Coulter would then move the chats off the app, bombarding some of his contacts with smutty Instagram messages.

He told one girl: “I wish you were a little bit older…I would love to snog your face off.”

And the court heard there was an element of grooming, with the sex offender sending gifts – including toys – to some girls’ homes.

He also trawled grubby forums, exchanging images with other paedophiles – even buying some for $15 from a pervert he met via Skype.

When officers swopped on his Rosslyn Avenue home one morning last October, they found him watching a Live.me stream on his IPad, Judge Robert Spragg was told.

But police would never have uncovered Coulter’s vile crimes had they not been alerted to his behaviour by a mum in County Durham who contacted police when she found What’s App messages from a teenager on her teenage daughter’s phone.

Local officers traced the phone number to Newcastle and the case was handed over to Northumbria POLIT officers.

Detectives traced Coulter and immediately began looking into his background, assessing whether he had access to any children who may be at immediate risk.

Despite discovering that he lived alone officers decided that the fact that he had been in contact with a young girl was enough to make him a potential danger and arrested him in a low key early morning swoop. When officers arrived he had LiveMe open on his Ipad and a large stash of devices in his home, which were seized.

Plain-clothed officers walked the heavily-built bearded paedophile into Forth Banks Police Station in Newcastle.

Coulter remained calm as charges were put to him and he was booked into custody for questioning.

Coulter pleaded guilty to nine counts including, distributing indecent photographs of a child, making indecent photographs, taking indecent photographs, and four charges of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, at Newcastle Crown Court.

He was last week jailed for eight years after Judge Spragg branded him: “every parents worst nightmare.”

Coulter’s eight year sentence features an additional five years on extension, he’s also subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Judge Spragg said: “This kind of online activity is every parents worst nightmare. You will only be released if the parole board decide it is safe to do so.”