A 21-year-old paedophile posed as a 14-year-old boy in an attempt to enrol as a pupil at a school in Ilkeston, England.

The man identified as Anthony Lonsdale turned up at the school in March 2022 wearing a school uniform so he could meet the teenage girl he had been in touch with on social media.

He was sentenced to jail for seven years at Nottingham Crown Court on January 19 after pleading guilty to grooming, sexual communication, and making indecent photos. He made fake profiles on several social media platforms, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, posing as a teenage girl named Tia.

He started messaging his victim and even encouraged her to add the profile of his fake 12-year-old brother Sam, per a report in The Independent. Over the next several weeks, he began sending her increasingly intimate messages before sending her sexually explicit photos.

He then tried to enrol at the school so he could meet his young victim. And that is when the police were alerted, and it was revealed that Lonsdale had been in touch with two other girls from Nottinghamshire using fake social media profiles.

He would send them indecent pictures and then ask them for pictures in return. He even managed to meet one of the girls at a McDonald's restaurant disguised as a female friend.

The girl later blocked him after he tried to get in touch with her younger sister. He met another in a Nottinghamshire park dressed as a teenage girl.

"The lengths to which Lonsdale went to by creating several fake personas on social media, to build trust with the victims and even attempting to enrol at the same school as one of the teenagers is unbelievable," said Detective Sergeant Sophie Draycott, from Nottinghamshire Police's Child Exploitation Investigation Unit.

"Behaviour such as this is intolerable, and I would like to recognise the courage of the young girls who worked with us as part of our investigation."

Crime Scene police line
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON