A man, who pretended to be a scout for a model agency, has been sent to prison for more than three years for grooming and blackmailing young girls and women. 24 year old John Kilpatrick was told he will serve 44 months in jail.
Kilpatrick pretended he was a female looking for new talent and between January 2014 and March 2016, engaged in indecent communications with 19 victims through online messaging. He compelled them to send indecent pictures of themselves and to view sexual imagery. He set up a number of fake accounts and profiles and mainly targeted his victims posing as a female called BeccaJane, a talent scout for BMA model agency.
In many incidents, Kilpatrick pretended that as the talent scout ‘she’ had a legitimate basis for seeking images from them. At the same time he would also use one of his other profiles to contact the victims and befriend them and then reassure them BeccaJane was genuine. He also extorted, and attempted to extort, further indecent images from them on the basis that he threatened to post the images they have sent him previously unless they sent him further material. The age of his victims ranged from 10 to 25 with all but two of them being 17 or under.
Speaking following the sentencing, Procurator Fiscal for Tayside, Central and Fife, Jennifer Harrower, said:
“Many of the John Kilpatricks’ victims were extremely vulnerable and reluctant to be involved in proceedings and it took incredible bravery in coming forward to report what happened to them.
“It is thanks to their courage and a painstaking, thorough and demanding effort on the part of police and prosecutors that it has been possible to bring him to justice for his crimes.
“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of such offences to report it to the police so they can be fully investigated. They will be treated with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity by the police and our expert prosecutors and we will do all we can to deliver justice.”
Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Watson from the Forth Valley Public Protection Unit said:
"John Kilpatrick used deception to engage with his victims, many of whom were young girls, before obtaining indecent images of them and trying to extort further images from them through the use of threats and intimidation.
"He is a predator of the worst kind and deliberately targeted victims he perceived to be either vulnerable , or susceptible to coercion.
"A dedicated team worked tirelessly to identify and safeguard the victims.
"His sentence reflects the zero tolerance approach taken by both Police Scotland and the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service when dealing with sexual crimes and bringing those responsible for committing offences of this nature to justice."