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  1. ITV Report

Lee Phillip Rees pretended to be a 13-year-old girl in online chatrooms so he could blackmail the men who contacted him

Lee Phillip Rees pretended to be a 13-year-old girl online and then hacked the computers of the men who contacted him. Credit: South Wales Police

A man who pretended to be a teenage girl online so he could blackmail the men who contacted him has been jailed for nine years.

Lee Phillip Rees, 48, from Roath, Cardiff, pretended to be a 13-year-old girl in online chat rooms, looking for men making sexual advances or who asked for images to be sent. He then sent files containing software that allowed him to take control of their computer and find material he could use to blackmail them, before asking them for money.

Following the examination of Lee Rees’ computer, it became apparent that there was considerable data that related to a significant number of people spread across the world. As a result an enquiry was commenced by Tarian Regional Organised Crime Unit to disseminate the intelligence to the appropriate Law Enforcement Agency.

This has lead to intelligence packages being sent to all the UK police forces (with the exception of City of London Police) and to 118 countries. The enquiry team has worked closely with Interpol, Europol and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) to ensure a timely dissemination of the intelligence.

Officers from other forces were drafted in under mutual aid provisions for an eight week period to assist during the enquiry. Support has also been received from National Crime Agency, Dyfed Powys Police and Gwent Police.

– Detective Inspect Paul Peters, South Wales Police

Rees admitted computer misuse, hacking and blackmail offences and was sentenced to nine years in prison in June, but reporting restrictions have prevented details being published until today.