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Sex offender jailed after online report

Sex offender jailed after online report

A 21-year-old man who admitted having sex with two underage girls he met on the Internet was jailed for nine years yesterday. Lee Costi, from Haslemere in Surrey was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court after also admitting possessing 41 indecent images of children and two counts of taking indecent pictures of children. Costi was caught after a 14-year old girl from Nottingham he was trying to seduce reported him on an international Website set up to tackle online abuse of children. Police said Costi was the first offender to be sentenced in the UK after being identified through the Virtual Global Taskforce Website. The site, www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com, is monitored around the clock by law enforcement bodies from Interpol, Britain, Australia, Canada and the United States. In this case the victim's information was passed back to Nottinghamshire police who arrested Costi at his home in January last year. Costi admitted trying to arrange to have sex with the 14-year old who had reported him, as well as to having sex with two other girls, aged 13 and 14, who he had contacted online. Jim Gamble, head of the Virtual Global Taskforce, said the abuse Website was receiving around 90 reports a month from children and their parents in the UK. "These paedophiles go online, they engage their victims, they seduce them because of their tender years," he said. "They take them into an off-world environment or a real world environment where they photograph the abuse and the horror." Gamble said Costi's arrest and jailing sent out "a very clear message to people who prey on children to sexually abuse them -- get help or get caught." UKFast is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

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