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South Wales Police

An Army cadet trainer has been jailed after posing online as a 15-year-old girl to “bait” teenage boys into performing sex acts over the internet.

Jamie Hopes, 24, from Maesteg, Bridgend county, tricked about 40 boys into sending indecent videos of themselves, thinking they were talking to the girl.

Police traced videos posted on Tumblr to Hopes’ IP address in June 2018.

He pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court to 15 charges and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Hopes was a training sergeant with the Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force.

The Cadet Force, which has locations across the UK, is one of the country’s largest voluntary organisations for young people aged between 12 and 18 and is sponsored by the Ministry of Defence.

The court heard officers found 50,000 indecent videos and images of children on two electronic devices at the home Hopes lived at with his parents, some of which he had shared with other paedophiles online.

One file named “For Baiting” held photos and graphic videos of the girl he was posing as to deceive the teenage boys he had met and groomed on a number of social network sites.

‘Grooming and manipulating’

Charges Hopes admitted included causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, possession of indecent images of child, distributing indecent images of a child and possession of extreme pornography.

As well as his prison sentence, he was banned from contacting anyone under the age of 18 for 10 years and will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.

South Wales Police Det Con Carl Taylor said: “(Hopes) targeted dozens of teenage boys on popular social networking sites, gaining their trust by pretending to be a girl their own age, and grooming and manipulating them in to engaging in sexual acts.

“Our team have not been able to identify all of those affected by Hopes’ offending, but of those we’ve managed to trace, all have suffered greatly and the abuse has had a profound effect on them.”

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