An Ellesmere Port man who groomed six teenaged boys online before abusing them has been jailed for15 years.
Nicholas Geddes, of Coombe Park, Little Sutton, was sentenced at Derby Crown Court last Friday after he was found guilty by a jury on several counts including meeting a child following sexual grooming, sexual activity with a child, attempted rape, rape and trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.
Geddes, a former pupil of Sutton High, was also placed on the sex offenders register.
Two of Geddes’ victims were from Long Eaton, Derbyshire, while the other four boys were aged 14 or 15 and from Durham, Newcastle, Montrose and Gwent.
The news has shocked the local community, including at Alvanley Cricket Club, where Geddes played.
Club chairman Chris Fletcher said: “The officials and members of Alvanley Cricket Club were shocked and saddened by this news. We extend our sympathy to all the families affected.”
The case against Geddes, 24, began on June 10 last year, when the parents of a 13-year-old Long Eaton boy called police to report that their son had been groomed online, taken to a hotel in the East Midlands and abused by Geddes.
Officers discovered that Geddes had been in contact with the boy via social media.
They identified him through his car registration details and arrested him the next day.
Derbyshire police seized his iPad and phone and discovered 'a considerable number of chat logs' that suggested he had been chatting with up to 38 boys.
Examinations of Geddes’ phone revealed that he had been having explicit conversations with these teenage boys, which led police to identify a 15-year-old victim from Long Eaton and the other victims from outside the county.
In the case of the older Long Eaton boy, Geddes had groomed him online and taken him to a local nature reserve and kissed him. He was convicted of two counts of meeting a child following sexual grooming in relation to this victim, along with sexual activity with a child and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Detective Sergeant Steve Shaw, of the child exploitation unit at Derbyshire police, led the investigation which led to the arrest of Geddes.
Describing Geddes as ‘dangerous and manipulative’, DS Shaw said: “This sentence reflects the severity of Geddes’ offending. Thankfully, cases such as this are rare but it does highlight the fact that it is not always girls who are victims of exploitation.
“It’s not only the parents and guardians of girls who need to be aware of the problem.”
DS Shaw said: “We weren’t expecting to find the number we did.
“Geddes targeted an online community of young gay males, who may have found it difficult to talk to friends and so seemed to have gone online to seek companionship and talk about coming out as a gay male.
“Geddes is not a stereotypical dirty-old-man paedophile – if you look at his Facebook profile, he’s showing off his six-pack, he’s fashionable and he wouldn’t look out of place in a boy band.
“And he used this image to exploit the boys. He’s dangerous and manipulative and some of the boys have been very traumatised by what he did.
“I would urge all parents to be alive to the risks posed by social media sites and to discuss these risks with their children.
“In this case, the boys were effectively groomed while they were in their own homes. While work is being done by the police and schools to educate parents and children, there is still more to be done to raise awareness.
“I would urge youngsters not to share any information online that they wouldn’t feel happy sharing face-to-face.”
For more information and advice about staying safe online, visit www.ceop.police.uk.