Moment paedophile, 24, who posed as 16-year-old girl online to blackmail dozens of boys into sending him explicit photos buries his head in his hands while he’s confronted with evidence in police interview – as he’s jailed for 21 years
- Jay Lang, 24, set up fake social media accounts and claimed to be a 16-year-old
This is the moment a paedophile who has been jailed for 21 years for posing as a teenage girl to blackmail dozens of young boys into sending him explicit photos buried his head in his hands while confronted with the evidence by police.
Jay Lang, 24, of Canvey Island, Essex, set up social media accounts under a pseudonym, claiming to be a 16-year-old girl. He blackmailed his victims into sending more explicit images or demanded cash, Basildon Crown Court was told.
In new footage of the ‘predatory’ man being interviewed by Essex Police about how hundreds of thousands of indecent images ended up on his phone, he tells officers: ‘Well you’re meant to do an investigation. I’m sure you’ll find out. Keep digging.’
But the cops interviewing him at the police station in Basildon reply: ‘We’ve done the investigation and it points to you mate. That’s the reason why we’re here.’
Lang, who is thought to have targeted more than 200 potential victims across fake Instagram and Snapchat accounts, insisted: ‘Keep digging it won’t, trust me… I’m 100 per cent it won’t. This is all wrong.’
This is the moment Jay Lang who has been jailed for 21 years for posing as a teenage girl to blackmail dozens of young into sending him explicit photos buried his head in his hands while confronted with the evidence by police
Lang blackmailed his victims into sending more explicit images or demanded cash, Basildon Crown Court was told
A female officer then tells him to explain who they should be looking at if he is innocent, adding: ‘If there’s someone out there preying on young boys and sexually assaulting young children, I want to catch the right one.’
Moments later he is seen with his head in his hands before telling police that he needs a break.
Marc Brown, prosecuting, said Lang ‘would target young boys aged between 11 to 16 using these social media profiles to first of all engage those young boys in conversation’.
‘Those conversations would develop, at first flirtatious conversation, then to more sexually-explicit conversation,’ he said.
He said it would lead to Lang inciting the victims to send indecent videos and photos of themselves.
The prosecutor said that ‘unbeknown to each of the victims’ the defendant was using a screen-recording app on his phone and would save the images, and later use them to blackmail the boys.
Lang would reveal himself as a man and ask for further images or demand cash, threatening to publish the images the boys had already sent if they did not comply.
Jay Lang told police officers to ‘keep digging’ as he vehemently denied posing as a 16-year-old girl to get young boys to send him explicit photos
Overwhelmed by the arrest, Lang bows his head against the table and asks if he can have a break
He sexually abused one of the boys in person after they felt they had no choice but to agree to his request to meet, the prosecutor said.
Lang also blackmailed another boy into filming himself performing a sex act with a male friend, the court heard.
‘He would use the threat of exposing the videos if they refused,’ Mr Brown said.
‘In the case of some victims he did indeed publish the videos.’
He said the offending spanned around three years, from 2019 to 2021.
‘The offending came to light in November 2021 when one of the victims reported what happened to him to police,’ the prosecutor said.
Police analysis of Lang’s phone identified 540 videos and 140,000 images, with 220 potential victims identified.
‘As a result of all of these inquiries, some 26 victims provided evidential accounts,’ the prosecutor said.
He detailed each of these accounts, with one victim telling how he was sent a selfie-style image of a topless teenage girl – who the boy thought he was speaking with.
Lang’s fake social media account said it was ‘only fair’ that the boy should send an image back, which the victim did with an image of his genitals, the prosecutor said.
The account requested further images and video of the boy performing a sex act.
When the boy tried to cease contact with the account, Lang got in touch via a separate account revealing himself as a man and threatened to share the images with the boy’s friends and family.
‘He felt he had no choice but to resume contact with the account,’ the prosecutor said.
The defendant asked to meet in person and the boy agreed to due to the threats of publishing the images, Mr Brown said.
He said Lang drove the boy to a secluded location in a van and sexually abused him.
The boy said in a victim impact statement read to the court that the abuse ’caused me to have suicidal thoughts on a daily basis’ and that he had tried to kill himself several times.
The prosecutor said that ‘unbeknown to each of the victims’ the defendant was using a screen-recording app on his phone and would save the images, and later use them to blackmail the boys. Pictured: Basildon Crown Court
Referring to another victim, the prosecutor said Lang ‘demanded £2,000 or the images would be posted on Facebook’.
Lang admitted at an earlier hearing to 46 offences, including causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, blackmail and causing or inciting child sexual exploitation.
He also admitted to arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence and to causing or inciting child prostitution of pornography.
Judge Samantha Cohen, jailing Lang for 21 years with an extended licence period of six years afterwards, told him: ‘You are a predatory, manipulative and dangerous young man.
‘You have wreaked havoc through the lives of 26 young men and their families.’
She said he was ‘aroused by the power and control’ the offending gave him and that it caused ‘anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and suicide attempts’.
The judge said it was ‘compulsive conduct over three years’ and had happened despite him being in a ‘permanent relationship’ at the time and having fathered a child.
Lang was made subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life.
The defendant mouthed ‘thank you’ to the judge as he was led from the secure dock to the cells.
Nick Bonehill, mitigating, said Lang had pleaded guilty to the offences, avoiding the need for a trial.
He added: ‘Through me, he apologises to each and every victim.’
Essex Police said it was the largest child exploitation investigation the force has ever undertaken and the judge praised their work as a ‘tour de force’.
Detective Sergeant Ben Rushmere, who leads the child sexual exploitation proactive investigation team, said: ‘Today’s sentence rightly highlights the true scale of Lang’s horrific offending.
‘He used social media to prey upon young people and exploit them either for financial gain or for his own gratification.’
He said he wanted to ‘commend each and every victim, and their families, who came forward and worked with us’.
‘It is only with their candour and support that we have been able to build a case so strong that Lang was left with no other option but to admit 46 extremely serious offences.’
Jeanette Smith, Specialist Prosecutor for the CPS, said: ‘Jay Lang was calculating in his offending and created a false persona to target young boys online.
‘The male victims in this case believed they were talking to a real teenage girl but became trapped in a web of fear where their own images became tools of manipulation and extortion by Lang, leaving them increasingly vulnerable to his depraved demands.
‘This conviction sends a clear message that the CPS, alongside the police, will work hard to bring justice to those who sexually abuse and exploit children, however that abuse takes place.
‘We urge victims to report these crimes, there is support out there and you are not alone.’
Detective Sergeant Ben Rushmere, who leads the child sexual exploitation proactive investigation team at Essex Police, said: ‘Today’s sentence rightly highlights the true scale of Lang’s horrific offending. He used social media to prey upon young people and exploit them either for financial gain or for his own gratification.
‘But much more important than Lang, I would like to commend each and every victim, and their families, who came forward and worked with us. It is only with their candour and support that we have been able to build a case so strong that Lang was left with no other option but to admit 46 extremely serious offences.
‘This is without doubt the largest scale child exploitation investigation Essex Police has ever embarked upon and it has required extraordinary commitment from our team to ensure each identified victim has received justice.’
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