Sex offender persuaded girls to send him naked pictures – then blackmailed them for money

Christopher Crossling, jailed for blackmail.
Christopher Crossling, jailed for blackmail.
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A MAN persuaded young women and children to take intimate photographs of themselves and then blackmailed his victims for money.

Christopher Crossling was jailed for three years at Durham Crown Court, after he admitted blackmail and a string of sexual offences.

One teenage victim said it was a shock to her that there are horrible people in the world like Crossling, who will do anything to get what they want.

Judge Christopher Prince said the case highlighted the dangers faced by young people online.

The judge added: “Teenagers may feel they haven’t got a lot to a learn from a circuit judge.

“But they would do well to take note of the experience of the victims in this case.”

The court heard Crossling targeted three 14-year-old and two 19-year-old girls via social media.

He persuaded some of them to send him topless or semi-naked photographs of themselves, before threatening to make the images public.

One girl sent him £100, another sent £300 from her first wage packet.

Crossling, 21, of Ghyllfield Road, Framwellgate Moor, Durham City, admitted two charges of blackmail, five charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and one charge of making an indecent image.

Christopher Rose, defending, said in mitigation: “These offences were at a time when Mr Crossling was not at work or college, and a relationship had just ended.

“His life was going nowhere and he turned to the internet as an escape.”

Judge Prince jailed Crossling for three years.

The judge said: “You used the internet as an opportunity for predation.

“It must have been clear to you your actions were likely to have a huge impact on the victims, causing psychological suffering. Young people using the internet would be well advised to learn from the victims in this case.”

Crossling must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.