Online child groomer Caleb Courtman has been jailed for 24 years following an investigation by South Wales Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) .
POLIT officers discovered Caleb Courtman, 20, of Swansea had over 2000 indecent images and videos of children on his devices, some of which he had sourced directly from child victims he had groomed and incited online.
Detectives led by Detective Constable Natalie Revers arrested Courtman after intelligence was received indicating an upload of illegal material from his home address.
A complex and collaborative investigation between the POLIT team and Digital Forensic Examiners revealed that Courtman had been communicating with hundreds of children as young as nine years old via social media platforms, where he had incited them, often using threats and blackmail, to conduct sexual acts.
When his internet history was examined, police found not only had he been searching for material about incest and rape but had also been looking for information on babysitting jobs locally and had visited the Facebook pages of schools in the Swansea area. Officers also found conversations about rape which Courtman had engaged in with fellow paedophiles.
He was in communication with hundreds children all over the UK, some of which may never be able to be identified, however thanks to the hard work of the investigators over 142 children have been identified and safeguarded. Work is still ongoing to identify and safeguard all children that have been contacted by Courtman.
Detective Constable Natalie Revers said:
"This has been a shocking and disturbing investigation and I would like to thank the families and children who have supported the police investigation and commend their bravery in speaking out. I would also like to thank others involved in the wider investigation for their hard work and assistance over the past seven months, and for their ongoing support.
“We urge anyone who believes they may have been victim of online sexual abuse to report it to police. They will be treated with dignity and compassion by our officers and the support services with whom we work closely.”
On Friday, September 8, at Swansea Crown Court, Courtman, was sentenced to an extended 24 years’ imprisonment. He was also made subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and has been added to the Sex Offenders’ Register.