A teenager from Strood has been jailed for 12 years after he targeted children online and then committed multiple sexual offences against them, including rape. 

Emmanuel Agbaje

Emmanuel Agbaje groomed his young victims using social media platforms, before they were blackmailed and subjected to appalling abuse.

The offences were committed between September 2021 and August 2022, and involved nine children, all teenage girls. 

Agbaje would contact the victims online and either introduce himself or pretend to be someone else. He would build up a relationship and trust, before convincing them to exchange intimate photos.

After receiving these photos he would blackmail the girls by threatening to distribute the images unless they met with him.

At a number of these meetings, Agbaje raped and sexually abused the victims. To prevent them from telling anyone of the abuse, he made threats to harm them, including sending one victim a photograph of their own front door.

Guilty pleas

In November 2022, Agbaje appeared at Staines Magistrates’ Court, sitting as a youth court, where he pleaded guilty to 30 charges which included but were not limited to – two counts of rape, 10 counts of sexual activity with a child and nine counts of blackmail.

He was also convicted of inciting the sexual exploitation of a child, sending communications conveying a threatening message and threatening to disclose private sexual images with intent to cause distress. A further 24 counts were ordered by the court to lie on file. 

At Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday 28 June 2023, the 17-year-old was sentenced to 12 years in jail, of which he will have to serve at least two thirds before he can apply for parole.

The judge deemed Agbaje ‘dangerous’ and later lifted reporting restrictions, which would normally prevent the naming of a juvenile offender.  

Upon release from prison Agbaje will be subject to an additional licence period of four years. He was also added to the Sex Offender Register for life.

Predatory and dangerous

The case was investigated by Detective Constables Abigail Palmer and Daniel Burnett, both of Medway’s Vulnerability Investigation Team.

DC Daniel Burnett said: ‘Agbaje was responsible for a catalogue of appalling offences. He instilled terror in his victims, to control and coerce them and satisfy his own warped desires.

‘I want to commend each victim in coming forward and supporting this investigation. Their bravery and courage to speak up and report these offences has ensured that we have been able to secure these convictions against a predatory and extremely dangerous individual.

‘His actions have both physically and mentally affected each victim. They now have to learn to rebuild their lives and trust in others. I only hope that this sentence can help to give closure to the victims and allow them to move forward.’

By Ed

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