A 'DANGEROUS' man from Kidderminster preyed on children on the internet and blackmailed a 13-year-old girl to send him indecent images.

Wayne Hudson, of Park Street, was arrested after child protection officers at West Mercia Police received intelligence that a man from Kidderminster was preying on youngsters online.

The 45-year-old had blackmailed a 13-year-old girl from Kent over a three-month period, aggressively demanding indecent images of her and threatening to expose her if she didn't comply.

The Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team (OCSET) carried out an investigation and a warrant was carried out at an address in Park Court in June.

Hudson was arrested and subsequently charged with engaging in sexual communication with a child, causing or inciting the sexual exploitation of a child, and causing or inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Further investigation led to four more young victims across the country being identified and safeguarded.

On Tuesday, November 24, Hudson was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison at Worcester Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to the offences.

He was also registered as a sex offender and made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order until further notice.

Detective Inspector Matt McNelis, from OSCET, said: “This was a complex inquiry utilising internet intelligence and investigation techniques, digital forensics strategies and numerous applications for data from Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.

“We have identified and successfully prosecuted a dangerous offender and I am proud to say that we have been able to protect these vulnerable children and give parents advice to help ensure safety online.

“We proactively seek out criminals involved in online child sex crimes and are confident our increased proactivity and prioritisation in this area is seeing an increase in the number of offences reported and we will continue to work with police forces across the country and other agencies to maximise identification of possible offences and pursue offenders.”