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Cyber creep facing prison; He posed as a girl.

Byline: By ADAM JUPP Chief Reporter

HUNCHED over his computer he was soon in a chat room making small talk with schoolgirls.

Using the e-mail address 'I want to be a model' the youngsters thought their new cyber-pal was like them, aged just 12.

But all the while, they were groomed by 40-year-old Shaun Martin Pudwell, who befriended the two 12-year-olds from Newcastle, before sending them a series of sick images of himself.

The youngsters reported the married father and now Pudwell, 40, is facing jail after being convicted of a string of sex crimes following a nationwide investigation.

The case led to police and child protection charities today repeating warnings to parents of the dangers facing their children from online predators.

Chief Insp Gillian Mitchell, of the Newcastle area command, said: "This highlights the dangers of internet grooming and we would always urge parents and children to take precautions when going on-line."

Pudwell, of Kent, was caught when a 13-year-old girl from Leicestershire contacted police with concerns about an email chat she was having with someone called Shaun.

The youngster had a received a message from Pudwell, whose address was '', and had begun chatting with him.

Despite the victim being honest about her age Pudwell sent her photographs of himself naked.

Around the same time, two 12-year-old Tyneside girls were also receiving sexually explicit messages from Pudwell and made complaints to Northumbria Police.

A further complaint was also received from someone in Gwent. All three forces began investigations and passed this information to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

And in April last year officers, with the assistance of CEOP Operations agents, arrested Pudwell and seized his computers where they eventually found more than 2,500 indecent images of children and evidence of correspondence to 150 email addresses which appeared to belong to young girls.

Pudwell had collected the addresses from networking sites MySpace and Penpal.

Pudwell was convicted of causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography, three counts of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, and three of causing a child to watch a sex act. He was remanded into custody until sentencing on November 16.

The court heard he contacted the girls via his work computer at a London security firm, to where police traced his e-mails. He admitted having fantasies about young girls, but denied sending the illegal e-mails, and blamed his colleagues.

Claude Knights of Kidscape, said: "These are very, very serious crimes and certainly not victim-free. The grooming of children has been going on for a long time but has been made easier by the use of the internet."


LOGGING ON: The site used by Shaun Pudwell to contact young girls; ALERT: Chief Gillian Mitchell; PAEDOPHILE: Shaun Pudwell is finally unmasked
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 11, 2007
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