Sex offender threatened kids into keeping abuse a secret

A man from Manchester who sexually assaulted two children has been jailed for eight years and six months following a National Crime Agency investigation.

Specialist NCA investigators operating online identified Jeffrey Owens, 44, (pictured) as a user who had been discussing his sexual interest in children on different chat platforms.

He went into great detail in conversations with other users about how he had assaulted two children on a number of occasions.Jeffrey Owens

Owens was arrested in May 2020, after which NCA investigators were able to evidence that he had assaulted, and engaged in sexual activity in front of the children at least 11 times, and had threatened them into keeping it a secret.

Both children have been safeguarded.

Officers analysing Owens’ phone later recovered several more chat logs where he spoke to various people about abusing children and shared indecent images.

Over 4,000 indecent images of children (IIOC) in categories A-C were also recovered, which Owens had stored across several devices.

Some of those images included ones he had taken himself using a hidden camera.

Earlier this year, Owens pleaded guilty to 26 offences, including the sexual assault of a child under 13, seven counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, causing a child to watch a sexual act, three counts of voyeurism, and four counts of indecency with a child.

He was sentenced today [20/03/2023] at Manchester Minshull Street Court to eight years and six months in prison, with a further four years on licence.

He was also handed an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders register for life.

Mark Barrow from the National Crime Agency said:

“Owens is a persistent offender who seemingly sought out as many opportunities as he could to satisfy his sexual interest in children.

“He consistently took advantage of children, sexually assaulting them and forcing them to watch him perform sexual acts on many occasions, then blackmailed them into keeping his horrific actions a secret.

“It’s clear this investigation has placed a dangerous sexual offender behind bars. Identifying such individuals and ensuring they can no longer pose a threat to children is an absolute priority for the NCA.

“We will continue to do all we can to tackle this threat but also hope to see a shift from industry to take responsibility for identifying and preventing sexual abuse happening on their platforms.”

20 March 2023