A teenager threatened to send photographs of a ten-year-old girl in her underwear to her Tik Tok followers unless she sent him more explicit images, a court was told.

Felix Hammond also asked the girl to send him pictures of her younger sibling and another sexualised image featuring her young cousin.

But Durham Crown Court heard the concerted Snapchat demands of the 18-year-old “groomer” led to his downfall.

Andrew Finlay, prosecuting, said the girl’s father noticed she was tearful in February this year and asked what was upsetting her.

Read more: County Durham offender had 'embedded' sexual interest in young females

She replied that she was being bullied online and her father looked at her Snapchat exchanges with the unknown male, who was using an alias.

Her father saw that the Snapchat ‘correspondent’ had told his daughter he knew where she lived to add more menace to his demands.

Police were informed and it was discovered the girl had agreed to send the unknown male the initial three images, taken in her mother’s bedroom.

But this only initiated the requests, with a ‘begging’ emoji, for more explicit images, accompanied by the threat: “If you don’t do exactly as I say I’ll send everyone in (the County Durham town where she lives) the pictures.”

He then said he would also send them to all of the girl’s Tik Tok followers and the girl said she had it on her mind that she should soon give him an answer.

Mr Finlay said when the girl asked Hammond how old he was and where he was from, he replied that it was a secret, and he just repeated his previous demand.

The defendant was traced using an IP address to a location in Preston, Lancashire, on March 20, and it was discovered he had been communicating with the ten-year-old girl via Snapchat between January and February.

When he was interviewed, Hammond, by then aged 19, gave “no comment” replies.

In a victim statement, the girl’s father said he was shocked to learn that a ten-year-old girl was being groomed online by an unknown person, stating: “No-one has the right to do this to my daughter.”

He added that he was angry that his daughter had been exploited and it made him feel, “physically sick.”

Read more: Pensioner jailed for six years for grooming at Newcastle court

Hammond, of Lostock Hall, Preston, admitted charges of blackmail, two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual communication with a child, and possessing indecent images of a child with intent to distribute.

The court heard he has a caution for a previous indecent image possession offence on his record from 2020.

Lewis Kerr, in mitigation, said in his pre-sentence (probation) report the defendant had shown, “genuine contrition for his offending.”

Mr Kerr said: “The evidence was always overwhelming in this case and, in the report, he has not held back about an addiction to pornography.

“He has a number of issues and the caution he received for the earlier offence came with one week’s rehabilitation work.

“Other than that, he’s had very little input in relation to the number of issues he has with sexual offending and behaviour.”

Mr Kerr said the consensus was a ‘Horizon’ programme would be suitable for the defendant, while in custody, to deal with those issues.

“The way the offence was carried out undermines any other mitigation I might give.

“He’s aware of that and does not want to put forward any unrealistic mitigation to try to avoid custody.”

Mr Kerr said, otherwise, the defendant has qualifications from school and is, “an intelligent young man.”

Judge James Adkin told Hammond: “It was cruelly repellent sexual offending against a ten-year-old girl to satisfy your demands for indecent images of children for your own sexual gratification.”

The judge said the feelings of the girl’s father were, “entirely understandable”.

He said:“The threats you made and the demands you made for more sexual photos of her were horrible.”

Judge Adkin said an “aggravating feature” of the case was the use of an alias by the defendant.

Read next:

Pervert abused teenager in Darlington after grooming her

Man, 20, jailed over sexual meeting with girl in County Durham

County Durham pervert went to Hollywood Bowl to abuse teenager

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Allowing Hammond a 25-per cent discount on sentence as credit for his guilty pleas, the judge imposed a 58-month prison sentence (four-years-and-ten-months).

He added: “I’m satisfied a long-standing determinate sentence will provide adequate protection to the public.”

Hammond will also be subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and registration as a sex offender, both for 15 years.