A teenage girl from Georgia flew over to Manchester to testify in court against her online abuser, who reportedly turned her into a virtual sex slave. A 15-year-old boy was also a victim of online abuse by the accused, the court heard.
The court sentenced 18-year-old Daniel Howarth, a resident of Blackley, Manchester, to four years in prison and ordered him to remain on licence until 2024.
The court heard that Howarth blackmailed both his victims and forced them to perform "bizarre and degrading acts", which he recorded on a web cam, the Daily Mail's MailOnline reported. He found both the victims on the popular social networking site Kik. Police found that he had also set up an online mental health and self-harm support forum to give him access to many vulnerable victims.
The Georgia girl, who was reportedly suffering from depression and had just begun a new school then, entered into a private chat with Howarth on the app on 1 November, 2014, through the social networking site. Their chat led to the exchange of intimate photos. He demanded explicit pictures from the girl on the pretext of offering her support and friendship. However, after a few days when the girl hesitated to share more pictures, he started blackmailing her.
Howarth threatened her saying he would send the photographs to her school if she did not obey him and made her do bizarre acts over the next three months. He reportedly ordered her not to shower, to drink her own urine, and also made her write abusive phrases across her body. He also forced her to send him images of herself performing sex acts, and to contact other men online and pretend she liked them, before ridiculing them.
He even threatened to "beat" and "rape" her in front of her family when she refused to follow his instructions. Howarth made his male victim perform similar degrading sex acts, and weird things like drinking his own urine, filling his mouth with toilet paper, and eating his own faeces and smearing it over his face. He also made the boy cut himself with wire and knives.
The girl was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following the ordeal, but despite her mental condition, the girl flew over to UK only to confront her tormentor as he was jailed.