BBC has uncovered Facebook accounts of convicted pedophiles who “groom children on social media.”
BBC Radio’s investigation has uncovered 22 Facebook profiles of convicted male child sex offenders, some of whom have been found guilty of “grooming children on Facebook,” in an attempt to meet them for sex. BBC reported all 22 profiles, six of which remained active three weeks following their report.
According to Simon Milner, the Facebook policy director in the UK, the company dealt with the issue in an effective manner. He said that Facebook appreciates BBC for coming forward with their reports, but that it is their job to actively monitor the accounts to look for suspicious behavior.
Facebook has a strict rule that sex offenders are prohibited from using the platform.
“We appreciate you did that, we appreciate it when anybody reports to us things that are happening on Facebook that shouldn’t be,” Milner said. “Our teams that focus on this work with the relevant local police force to get authorisation from them and it works. We’ve found in terms of our working relationship with law enforcement in this country and elsewhere they think we are amongst the most effective companies in dealing with this issue and we actually do have the right kind of arrangements in place.”
Examples of the Facebook Profile
One of these profiles belonged to 20-year-old Bruce Cordwell, who groomed a 15-year-old girl, Kayleigh Haywood on Whatsapp and Facebook. A few days later, she Kayleigh was raped and killed by Stephen Beadman in 2015.
Kayleigh was approached on Facebook by Luke Harlow, 28, and started talking for about two weeks. Harlow convinced Kayleigh that they were now a couple, and later got her to agree to stay at his Ibstock apartment.
The next night, Harlow’s neighbor, Beadman, went over to the apartment, raped and killed Kayleigh. Beadman was sentenced to 35 years in prison on the grounds of false imprisonment, rape and murder.
Harlow was sentenced to 12 years in prison for child sexual grooming, sex with a minor as well as false imprisonment.
Cordwell, was later discovered to have also played a part in sexually grooming Kayleigh. He was sentenced to just less than four years in jail after he pleaded guilty for attempting to arrange the sex offence of a minor.
Kayleigh’s mother said that sex offenders that stayed on such platforms pose an enormous risk. “There is a risk they could do what they’ve done again, or worse,” she said. “I say, ‘Once a groomer always a groomer.”
“Once they’ve been inside for whatever they’ve done, I think they should remove it. I think it’s horrible.”