Victim of 'pathetic' Worthing paedophile Jordan Croft says ordeal 'destroyed' her
Tap to watch a video report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham
A young woman who was blackmailed by serial paedophile Jordan Croft has been describing the ordeal and the relief she feels now he's been sentenced.
We're hiding her identity to protect her anonymity but in a brave account she explains to me the impact of Croft's sadistic abuse.
"At the time, it completely destroyed all sorts of personal confidence. Any self-worth was out of the window.
"I was getting nightmares pretty much every night, and I couldn't even leave my house without feeling ashamed and embarrassed.
"I feel much better now, but it completely destroyed me at the time."
Croft admitted forcing 26 victims aged 12-22, most of whom were children, to send photos and videos of them performing sexual and degrading acts on themselves and others.
He pretended to be a teenage boy before admitting his acknowledged sick identity that he was in fact a paedophile.
Persistently messaging girls, the 26-year old from Worthing in West Sussex, threatened them if they refused to send over grotesque and illicit content.
"It did feel like forever" says the young woman. "It was consistent, every second of every day that I had to be in contact and do whatever he wanted. So it was it was very intense."
"I didn't ever think that people were like that out there. I had talks and people would warn me and parents would say, 'Oh, just be careful what you do on the Internet' but I never thought it was possible for someone to be into such messed up things and put people through that."
"For him to have done it to that extent, that was his normal and it became normal for all of us."
Addressing Croft, sentencing judge Christine Laing QC said,
"You did everything you could to control them and your desire to control these young girls and humiliate them is clear.
"Many of your victims were aged between 12 and 15, an age when any right thinking person knows them to be vulnerable, something you were all too happy to exploit."
After being sent down, the hearing at Lewes Crown Court erupted into an almighty applause reflecting the huge sense of relief of victims and their families.
The young woman who bravely shared her account has this message for anyone who might be going through a similar experience,
"It's very scary having to report it or even tell someone what you're going through at the time.
"But if you're going through anything like that, you really need to say something because all the threats that he says or whatever you are threatened with, all that may seem scary, but realistically speaking out in the long term is going to help you and so many others."
Like many of Crofts innocent victims, she is still undergoing support but feels today's sentence is a weight lifted and a point for her to move on with her life.