Surrey paedophile posed as a woman and used social media to target children worldwide

Jonathan Woodward
Jonathan Woodward targeted children around the world Credit: Surrey Police

A Surrey paedophile posed as a woman to target children online in a case a judge said was "the worst I’ve seen for some while".

Police began to investigate Jonathan Woodward after a suspected indecent image of a child was seen on his mobile phone.

Woodward, 22, who was living in Ashford at the time, was arrested and a number of devices were seized.

Examination of the devices revealed contact with children across the world on multiple social media platforms.

He used fake profiles pretending to be a woman to lure children into sexual activity online, which he then recorded.

Woodward also used software to identify the areas where his victims lived and then used this information and the recordings to threaten the young victims and obtain more graphic material.

Woodward's offences took place between 2015 and 2021 and he was sentenced to 18 years in jail at Guildford Crown Court.

He must serve two-thirds of his 18-year custodial sentence with a further eight years extended license.

He was also made the subject of a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

'No place for such vile behaviour'

Detective Inspector Antony Preston, from the Paedophile Online Investigation Team, said: "Woodward’s behaviour has impacted countless lives, and I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the bravery and courage of these young victims who have helped put this man behind bars for a long time.

"I would urge those using social media to speak out should they feel threatened or intimidated online, using online reporting functions or contacting police to report such behaviour.

"This investigation and sentencing shows that there is no place for such vile behaviour. We will work tirelessly to ensure child sex abusers face the consequences of their actions.

“If there is anyone reading this who has been a victim of child sex abuse, I would encourage you to speak to us. We will do everything we can to support you."

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