An online predator who blackmailed girls as young as 12 into becoming his ‘sex slaves’ has been given a 26 year sentence following a National Crime Agency investigation
Jordan Croft, 26, from Worthing, West Sussex, admitted forcing 26 victims aged 12-22, most of whom were children, to send photos and videos of them performing sexual and degrading acts on themselves and others.
Croft sought out young girls on online chat platforms with the aim of dominating and controlling them. NCA investigators found that he had been in contact with over 5,000 people on one platform alone.
He went to great lengths to hide his true identity and avoid detection, using a large number of accounts based on false details and conducting the majority of his offending on encrypted phones and apps.
After getting the girls to send him a nude ‘custom pic’ of his choosing, he used this to make demands for increasingly depraved and graphic content at all hours of the day, including while they were at school.
His requests ranged from telling them to send naked images in different poses, filming themselves masturbating while saying his name or pretending to be his sister.
He confessed to having a “toilet kink” and said they had to inform him when they were going to the toilet, then film themselves urinating or defecating. Some were forced to gargle urine and perform enemas on themselves.
NCA officers arrested Croft in September 2019, after identifying him as the man behind various usernames which featured in reports of online abuse filed by a number of police forces in England. This offending dated back to April 2018.
Numerous devices, including Croft’s two mobile phones and a USB stick, were seized for analysis, which led to the NCA uncovering the full extent of his offending, including a further 19 victims.
Both phones had an encrypted side to them, which was where the messaging applications were stored. Here, Croft had saved the abuse material his victims sent him, tagged with their names and ages, along with a list of their social media followers.
Further indecent images of children (IIOC) were found on the USB stick which also contained a portable operating system. When plugged in to a computer, the system would ensure nothing was written to the computer’s hard disk and all trace of activity was deleted.
Investigators linked him to 20 online profiles across four different messaging platforms.
Chat logs showed that in many cases, Croft initially pretended to be a teenage boy in order to befriend his victims. He then set a list of rules they had to adhere to, which included moving their conversation to encrypted platform Telegram and sending any photos or videos he asked for.
Once content they were going to follow his rules, he revealed his true age and admitted to being a “catfish” and a “pedo [sic] into girls 12-14”.
Many were forced to film themselves verbally confirming that they were entering into his “contract of sexual slavery”.
If the girls did not comply or asked to be released from the contract, he would set punishments and threaten to expose them to their family or social media followers.
He also told them he had a degree in cyber security and had masked his online identity so he could not be traced by law enforcement.
Croft was charged in June 2022 with 65 offences following authorisation by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The charges include multiple counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, blackmail, making unwarranted demands for IIOC, intentionally causing or inciting the sexual exploitation of a child, and making over 900 IIOC in categories A-C.
He pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on 11th November to 18 years in prison, and a further eight years on licence. He will also be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life, and will be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and a restraining order preventing him from contacting his victims.
Martin Ludlow, senior investigating officer at the National Crime Agency, said:
“Jordan Croft is a prolific offender who has caused heart-breaking suffering to many victims and their families.
“The sexual depravity he consistently displayed during this abuse of both young female children and adults is horrific.
“Like many offenders Croft thrived on the power he was able to exert over the victims. He sought the feeling of control and obtained it by deceit and abuse.
“He showed no compassion for the victims, pushing them to breaking point and issuing threats, even when they begged him to stop.
“I commend these young women who have shown such bravery in speaking out against him.
“Croft is an example of an adult sexual offender who deploys plausible online profiles to hide their real identity and exploit children.
“We know children are increasingly sharing personal material on social media sites, but I urge them be aware of the hurt and long term damage manipulative offenders like Croft cause, and to think carefully about who they may be communicating with online.
“The NCA will continue to pursue the most serious offenders, including those who believe they can hide behind the anonymity of the internet to abuse children. Like Croft they will be brought to justice.”