Man jailed for offences against children

Man jailed for offences against children

Published at 5:52pm 25th April 2016. (Updated at 6:08pm 25th April 2016)

A man has been jailed for more than five years after harassing two girls from North Yorkshire.

47-year-old Mark Vincent, from the London area, used the internet to target his young victims and he harassed them between 2011 and 2014.

He posed as a teenager online, demanding attention and for the girls to send photos of themselves.

It was only by sheer chance that one of them saw a screen reflection of Vincent's face, realising she was communicating with a much older, adult man.

She broke contact and got in touch with police, whilst at the same time Vincent, in a rage at losing his control, messaged her family and friends threatening to publish images of her unless she contacted him.

It was in doing this that the second victim was sent sick and abusive voicemails and texts demanding that she arrange contact.

Vincent threatened to post faceless pornographic images to family, schools and public places, falsely naming the girl in the pictures as the victim.

Police were quickly able to identify Vincent, a warrant for his arrest was issued and officers from Surrey arrested him last November.

Over 60 computer and mobile phone exhibits were seized from his home.

A full investigation was carried out and uncovered the extent of Vincent's abuse.

Detective Constable John Atkinson, of York Serious Crime Team, said: "Mark Vincent is a male in his late 40s who has behaved in the most cruel and callous way towards children.

"It was shocking to see laid out in messages children talking about needing to do homework or attend school clubs, only to have Vincent overwhelm them with demands and threats until they gave in to his will.

"A child talking about self-harm or ending her life did nothing to even reduce his demands. With two of his victims, he talked about marriage only for one to remind him that at 14 they were both a bit young.

"I praise the victims for coming forward and seeking help. These children were genuinely frightened by the threats made by Vincent and I'm sure at times they wondered if there was any way out.

"I want the victims to feel proud they have managed to bring an end to their abuse, and also ended abuse for many of Vincent's other victims.

"I also want to encourage anyone who thinks they are being targeted or bullied online to come forward. Come and talk to the police, we take all reports of this type of crime seriously and we will listen to you and support you every step of the way."