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By Lesley RichardsonA TEENAGER saved from a sex attack by her “nosey” mother after she was groomed online warned others today about the dangers of the web.
Amy was just 12 when she attracted the attention of Oliver Randall. The 20-year-old Southampton University student first made contact through a social networking site.
Amy, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, said: “He did very nasty stuff to others. Obviously I am glad it didn’t happen to me, but I was lucky because my mum found out what was going on. My nosey mum literally saved me from getting hurt.”
Dorset Police said Randall, from Bridport, Dorset, was jailed in December 2008 for four years after admitting 23 charges including engaging a child under 13 in sexual activity, inciting a girl under 13 in sexual activity, grooming children on the internet and making and taking indecent images of children.
Police said a further 60 charges were taken into consideration at Dorchester Crown Court.
More than 40 girls aged between 12 and 18 from Dorset and Somerset were involved in the case.
Prosecutor Joanna Morrissey said: “If it wasn’t for her mother being suspicious and contacting the police, the activities of Randall may never have come to light.”
Amy, now 14 and living in Yeovil, Somerset, said she first met him online. He asked her age and they chatted about music, likes and dislikes.
“He asked me where I lived and I know it was a mistake to tell him, but the general conversation seemed OK so I wasn’t worried.”
The conversation then turned sexual, she said.
“I tried not to talk to him but it was hard, because he always seemed to be online and he always had something to say.
“One day he asked me if I would send him pictures of myself and I said no.
“Then, he would continue by asking how far I had gone, sexually, with a boy. This all happened within about a week – I can’t believe how quickly he advanced.
She sent him her mobile number by accident while chatting to a friend on an instant messenger service and he started to send her texts, and tried to organise a meeting with her.
Her mother Kathy, whose name has also been changed, found the “lurid messages” and confronted her daughter.
Kathy said: “When I first found the text messages, I was in utter shock – I was sat there, hunched forward, shaking and sweating, and I actually dropped the phone on to the floor. I was worried that I had destroyed any evidence of this man’s unacceptable conversations with my daughter.”
She immediately called police and said: “Amy was incredibly lucky, because she was probably 24 hours away from being raped.”
An internet safety day is being held in Dorset next month to raise awareness of the dangers on the net.
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