Paedo cop Lewis Edwards who posed as teen on Snapchat to groom 200 girls into sending explicit images is jailed for life | The Sun

A PAEDO cop who posed as a 14-year-old boy on Snapchat to groom 210 teen girls into sending explicit images has been jailed.

Lewis Edwards blackmailed his victims, who were aged between 10 and 16, into sharing increasingly graphic content.

The 24-year-old threatened to share the images and tell their family and friends if they failed to comply.

He even begged one of the girl's dads not to report him, saying: "Please don't say anything I won't share them. I won't do anything".

Edwards, who refused to attend court for his sentencing, has now been jailed for life with a minimum of 12 years after admitting 22 counts of blackmail and 138 child sex offences.

He also pleaded guilty to refusing to disclose the password to a mobile phone and USB stick.

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Sentencing, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said Edwards "groomed his victims psychologically, manipulating them until he had gained control".

She said the fiend gained "sadistic enjoyment" from the "cruel" distress he caused.

Cardiff Crown Court heard all but one of his 210 victims were abused over a three-year period while he was a serving officer with South Wales Police.

One teen was targeted just 17 days after Edwards met her as part of his duties.

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The predator even contacted his victims during working hours on 30 different occasions.

He posed as a 14-year-old boy to incite the girls to send explicit images and videos on Snapchat.

Sometimes Edwards would send back videos of himself performing a sex act and encourage his victims to do the same.

The fiend also made the girls write "Snapgod" – a distributor of child sex abuse images – on their bodies.

He would threaten his victims – telling one that other girls had killed themselves and he did not care if she did.

The cop also threatened to bomb the house of one teen and said he would shoot her parents if she stopped sending him images.

Some girls were so traumatised they started self-harming, while one of the girls slept with a hammer under pillow.

One mum told the court: "We cannot get our head around the fact that somebody who was there to protect you could do this.

"The smirk he gave us in court shows that he has no remorse. I do not think he can or will have any understanding or care how he has impacted his victims.

"Lewis Edwards, I want you to know that as a family we will never forgive you and we feel nothing for you but hate."

The ‘sadistic’ crimes in full

  • 90 counts under section 8 of the Sexual Offences Act, 13 of which involve penetration.
  • 27 counts under section 10 of the Sexual Offences Act, 13 of which involve penetration, and one attempt.
  • 11 counts under section 12 of the Sexual Offences Act
  • Four counts under section 15A of the Sexual Offences Act
  • One count under section 48 of the Sexual Offences Act.
  • One count of distribution of a category C indecent image of a child.
  • 14 counts of making category A indecent image of a child.
  • 13 counts of making a category B indecent image of a child.
  • 15 counts of making a category C indecent image of a child.
  • 10 counts of possessing a category A indecent image of a child.
  • 11 counts of possessing a category B indecent image of a child.
  • 12 counts of possessing a category C indecent image of a child.
  • 22 counts of blackmail.
  • One count of failing to disclose a key, namely a personal identification number or password of protected information.

Another mother added: "As parents you will do anything to protect your child and when we think about what she went through during that period, it really does break our hearts."

One mum's victim impact statement caused the prosecutor to choke up in court as he was overcome by emotion.

She told how the family's lives have "changed forever" following the abuse.

The mum added: "When we were contacted by the police, and made aware of the horrendous things he made my daughter do when she was 11 years old, I can’t put into words the sickening feeling I felt, it’s no feeling a mother should ever feel.

“She was a beautiful 11-year-old child and she was made to do things she had no idea about, she was too young to understand her actions.

"To think of her causing physical injury to own body breaks my heart."

Edwards previously pleaded guilty to 161 offences, including blackmail, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, making a child watch a sex act, demanding indecent images of children, and making indecent images of children.

Assistant Chief Constable Danny Richards said the vetting process for Edwards came back clear when he joined the police.

The officer confirmed there was "nothing to indicate that he was involved in such abhorrent offences against children".

He added: "The crimes committed by Lewis Edwards are despicable and the public will be as shocked and sickened as we are that such appalling offences were committed by a serving police officer.

"As soon as we knew the offender was a serving police officer, Edwards was suspended and sacked at a misconduct hearing which was held at the very earliest opportunity to remove him from policing.

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"His behaviour only serves to damage the public’s trust and confidence in policing and undermines the work of the responsible, hard-working police officers who serve the communities of South Wales with courage and pride."

Anyone who fears they or a loved one has been affected by Edwards' sickening crimes has been asked to call South Wales Police on 101 quoting reference 2300040906.

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