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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
West Midlands Police Yohann Ramchelawon
# England
Man posed as Justin Bieber lookalike to get indecent images from young girls jailed for 15 years
Yohann Ramchelawon used fake social media accounts to chat to young girls.

A 30-YEAR-old man who posed as a young Justin Bieber lookalike online to lure schoolgirls from across the UK into sending him indecent webcam images has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Yohann Ramchelawon hid his true identity behind a photo of a teenage boy he found online and used bogus social media profiles to groom young girls, West Midlands Police in England said.

Ramchelawon used Instagram, WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook to chat to girls aged between 12 and 17.

Some of his victims were also coerced into performing sex acts in front of webcams after Mauritius-born Ramchelawon threatened to share images the girls had provided of friends and family.

West Midlands Police said they picked up the inquiry after an IP address used to message a 12-year-old Manchester girl was traced to a house in Walsall.

Detectives eventually traced him to an address in Victoria Lane, Huddersfield, where he was arrested on 6 March.

Hundreds of indecent images were found on his digital devices as officers uncovered victims from Coventry and Walsall in the West Midlands, along with Lanark in Scotland, Liverpool, St Ives, Shoreham-by-sea and East Ham.

Further examinations of his computer and phone revealed he had contacted girls living in New Zealand, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Kerry Haywood from West Midlands Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “He used various aliases including Ryan Smith and Santiago, and claimed to be a teenager who was sending messages during school or college lessons.

He sent poems, call them ‘baby’ and tell them he loved them after chatting online for little more than a day.

“However, he quickly steered the chats to intimate subjects and persuaded them to take their clothes off – and he then used these naked images to blackmail them into sending more explicit pictures and videos,” Haywood said.

Ramchelawon – who gave his home address as Walls Street, Halifax, when arrested – was convicted of two counts of inciting a 12-year-old girl to engage in sex acts online, eight charges of possessing indecent images of children, and two of distributing the images.

He was also convicted of penetration and sexual assault against a six-year-old girl from Coventry in October last year.

He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment at the Stafford Crown Court yesterday.

Haywood urged parents to play an intrusive role in their children’s online activity to make sure they don’t come to any harm.

“You need to be absolutely certain who you’re talking to online – your son or daughter may believe they’re chatting with another teenager but, in reality, it could be someone much older with sinister intentions,” Haywood said.

“Parents shouldn’t feel awkward asking their children what they’re up to online and who they’re conversing with on social media,” she said.

Perhaps have an agreement that they only use the internet in an overt manner, in the living room, rather than squirreled away in their bedrooms.

Read: Man (20s) shot in Citywest last night named locally

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