May 2020

Welsh League Footballer blackmailed schoolboy for indecent images while posing as girl on Instagram

A footballer set up a fake Instagram account and blackmailed a 11 year old schoolboy for indecent images while pretending to be a young girl.

Corey Christopher Hycz blackmailed the boy from September 2016 to May 2019 by threatening to share indecent pictures of him online if he didn’t send more.

The 21-year-old, who plays for Ruthin Town FC, was also targeting other schoolchildren in North Wales, Mold Crown Court heard today.

In a hearing held by video link before Judge Niclas Parry, Hycz, of Min yr Afon in Ruthin, was sentenced to two years and three months behind bars and was made the subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

He must also register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Hycz admitted all four offences including two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, blackmail and making indecent images of children.

Prosecutor Ffion Tomos said the boy was initially targeted by Hycz in 2016.

The victim had received a message from an Instagram account under a false name, who claimed to be a pupil at a school in North Wales.

Using the false account, Hycz asked the boy if he wanted to be friends, and told him that he thought he was attractive.

The court heard that, as the conversation continued, he asked whether the boy was post-pubescent.

When he replied that he did not know, Hycz told him to send some images and videos of his genitals to see whether he was.

Once the images had been sent, the court heard Hycz continued to ask for further material from the boy.

When his victim did not comply, Hycz began to blackmail him.

Ms Tomos said that, when the boy blocked the account, another was created and warned that if he did not unblock the first account, the images would be shared with “everyone”.

It wasn’t until the boy confided in a friend some years later that he eventually told his brother about the ordeal, and later contacted the police.

Following Hycz’s arrest on June 4 last year, police discovered a number of indecent images of children on his phone and laptop, mainly male children from the age of three to 14, and including almost 40 images of the most serious category.

It also emerged he was part of abusive conversations about the sexual abuse of children, and had been searching information about high schools in North Wales to target other schoolchildren, the court heard.

In a victim impact statement read out by Ms Tomos to the court, the boy said that, since the incident, he “can’t laugh as he did before” and was always upset at home.

He said he feared he would be mocked if people found out what had happened, and that his friends would abandon him.

“When I was first contacted by the person, I thought they just wanted to be friends,” he said.

“I was worried about going out and, at the time, I was worried about who it was.”

As a result of the ordeal, he said he had lost sleep, became stressed, and said his school work had been affected.

Judge Parry said the defendant, who admitted he is sexually attracted to children and had “carefully planned” the incident, was at high risk of reoffending.

He said he will serve half of the sentence in custody, and the other half on license.