YouTube star jailed for persuading ‘vunerable’ teen to send naked pictures of herself

PUBLISHED: 06:20 31 August 2019

As well as being jailed, Anthony McCallum will also not be able to create another YouTube channel. Picture: ISTOCKPHOTO

As well as being jailed, Anthony McCallum will also not be able to create another YouTube channel. Picture: ISTOCKPHOTO

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A Suffolk YouTube star with 80,000 followers has been jailed for 20 months after persuading a young fan to send him naked pictures of herself.

The vulnerable teenager got to know Anthony McCallum on Xbox and she described them as being the "best of friends".

However, McCallum had started to get "a bit weird" and asked her to send him naked pictures of herself and questioned her about her bra size, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

"He was asking every day as soon as she got on-line," said Simon Gladwell, prosecuting.

The girl sent 52 pictures to McCallum over a period of two days in September 2017 but then regretted what she'd done and felt ashamed.

Mr Gladwell described the girl as "very vulnerable" and said that after sending the pictures she had talked about killing herself.

McCallum, 28, of Stour Avenue, Felixstowe, admitted inciting a child aged between 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity.

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In addition to being jailed he was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order which banned him from having any "direct or indirect involvement with the ownership, setting up, creation or administration of any YouTube channel."

Sentencing him, Judge Rupert Overbury said: "This is an extremely serious offence of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

"Someone with a YouTube following - on your calculation of 80,000 people with many aged between 13 and 17 - having fans as you describe them, fans who were keen to become friends with you because of your status in the gaming community, you were able to exert a considerable amount of influence over young people.

"You knew the child you befriended was vulnerable and you knew her age.

"I am perfectly satisfied you deliberately engaged her as a friend and persisted with that until the point you decided to test it a bit further to see if she would comply with your requests.

"She initially refused but you persisted and probably because of your status in the YouTube community, her naivety and vulnerability she did what you asked," said the judge.

"Young teenagers should be allowed to be safe when taking part in what is for them a daily pastime of playing on their Xboxes and YouTube games," he added.

Lynne Shirley, for McCallum, said he had no previous convictions and had expressed genuine remorse.

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