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Paedophile who targeted vulnerable girls online is jailed

12 Jul 2018 10:00 AM

Coulter, Michael [View Full Size]

A paedophile has been jailed for using the internet to abuse children all over the world - without leaving his home.

Michael Coulter, 65, has been jailed for eight years after he admitted using dating sites and chat forums to gain the trust of teenage schoolgirls.

The retired engineer posed as a teenage boy called 'Geordie Mike' and flirted with the girls before typing out a string of sexual demands.

He would then use his iPad to record his screen as his vulnerable victims performed sexual acts on the streaming site.

Newcastle Crown Court was told how he would then swap the material with others he had met online.

Coulter was eventually arrested by Northumbria Police in October last year after they received a tip off from a North East mum who had spotted messages on her daughter's phone from his alias.

A search of his address and electronic equipment discovered that the pensioner had amassed more than 10,000 pictures and videos over a 14 year period.

He was also found to have more than 1,500 contacts on the live streaming app Live.Me - with 11 victims identified in the UK and a further 36 from around the world.

Coulter, of Rosslyn Avenue, Kenton, was eventually charged with nine counts of offences relating to indecent images and inciting a child to be involved in sexual activity.

And at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, July 2, he was handed an eight year jail term with an additional five years to be served on licence.

Detective Sergeant Dave Henderson, of Northumbria Police's Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), said the case showed the dangers of talking to strangers on online chat rooms.

He said: "Michael Coulter is a paedophile who hid behind the safety of his computer screen to target vulnerable young girls. It’s clear this behaviour had gone on for a great length of time.

"He was an offender who simply did not believe he would ever be caught and I am glad he is now behind bars." 

Detective Sergeant Allen Hull, who also worked on the case as part of the POLIT, said "We identified 47 victims from all over the world with further work continuing to safeguard each and every child who he can be linked to.  

"He had built a library of images and videos by posing as a teenager and encouraging young girls to perform sexual acts on a live stream.

“Coulter would form relationships, buy some of the victims gifts in order to groom young girls so they would do his bidding online. 

"His neighbours would have never known that behind closed doors he was a serious and dangerous criminal in the cyber world he had created."

DS Henderson added: "I want to praise all those victims and witnesses we have spoken to who have allowed us to put Michael Coulter before the courts.

"I particularly want to praise that mother who first reported her suspicions to police and I would encourage other parents to look at this case and do the same.

"We will continue to educate young people and parents of the dangers posed by the internet and what steps they can take to look after themselves”.

"We encourage children in particular not to talk to strangers online and never let anyone encourage you to engage in to carrying out sexual acts. You never know who might be on the other side of the camera."

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. 

He was also made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.