A ‘cruel and callous’ 22-year-old paedophile who preyed on vulnerable girls as young as 12 has today been jailed for 10 years.
Billy Byrne, of Rowland Way, Aylesbury, groomed his three victims via text, WhatsApp messages and Facebook, pestering them to send him naked photos of themselves and asking them to have sex with him.
He finally confessed to his crimes after being found guilty following a harrowing two week trial when his victims were forced to give evidence.
Judge Francis Sheridan said Byrne applied ‘incessant, unrelenting and persistent’ pressure to one of the victims when asking her to send him ‘revolting’ material.
He said: “You bullied her verbally and persistently to provide you with the most revolting videos, and then you wickedly threatened to to blackmail her over these videos and photos before having the audacity to send them on to others.”
Byrne’s activities were exposed after he had unprotected sex with another of the victims in a farmer’s field when she was just 15 and became worried she was pregnant.
You only cared about yourself and your own sexual gratification. You are a predatory paedophile and, in my view, a menaceJudge Francis Sheridan
She confided in a teacher at school, who alerted her parents before the police were called.
When officers arrested Byrne, they seized his iPhone and laptop and found text messages, Facebook messages and WhatsApp where he talked graphically about sex.
When the laptop was examined by police, more than a thousand indecent images were found, including six which are classed as category A, the most serious level.
Two of the videos showed an adult female engaging in sexual acts with a dog and a horse, which Judge Sheridan said was ‘truly depraved’.
But he said there was ‘astonishment’ in the court room last week as Byrne announced by video link that he was guilty of all the charges in a last minute turnaround.
He added that the ‘relief’ at finally hearing his confession must have been ‘utterly overwhelming’ for the victims and their parents.
Addressing Byrne via video link today, Judge Sheridan said: “You have been a spoilt child and your mother’s view of you has been shattered.
“It’s now beyond all reasonable doubt and these parents can now say to their children, ‘no one will say you’re lying or that you’re making it up’.
“They can get on with their lives and you will play no further part.
“You are emotionally frozen and have showed no real understanding of the part you played and no concern for the victims whose images you downloaded from the internet.
“You only cared about yourself and your own sexual gratification. You are a predatory paedophile and, in my view, a menace.”
Judge Sheridan blasted Byrne’s ‘targeted approach’ to his victims, saying: “Each victim was vulnerable in their own way. Each girl was challenged educationally, intellectually and emotionally.
“You deliberately targeted them because of their lack of maturity. You have a callous, cruel nature – you would have your way with them, then off you would go and then you’d be back for more.”
Judge Sheridan said he had thought ‘long and hard’ about the appropriate sentence and revealed that Byrne had been ‘ambivalent and disinterested’ in police interviews leading up to the trial.
Byrne claimed he had ‘no attraction to underage, pre-pubescent children’ and claimed he had not pleasured himself to the indecent images and videos, but Judge Sheridan said: “I think you’re living in cloud cuckoo land.
“You were totally alert throughout and sexual gratification was your main goal.
“You are as cold hearted as can be. Your mother idolised you as the perfect son that can do no wrong, and you played on that.
“When you admitted your guilt, she was utterly shattered and burst into tears. She believed in you.
“You were cold and selfish throughout this whole case from beginning to end.”
Addressing the victims and their families who sat in the gallery, Judge Sheridan advised them to ‘get on with their lives’, saying: “If you don’t, he has won.”
Byrne has been placed on the sex offenders’ register and is subject to a sexual offenders’ prevention order – both for an indefinite period.
He is not allowed to contact his victims ever again, or have any unsupervised contact with any child below the age of 16.
He must have risk assessment software installed on his computer by police, is prohibited from deleting his internet history and must surrender his computer to police when asked.