A paedophile has been jailed for 14 years for grooming young girls online while posing as Justin Bieber and other teenage boys.
Robert Hunter, 35, carried out an international 'sadistic exploitation' of youngsters in what was described as one of the worst cases the court had ever seen.
Middlesbrough-based Hunter used Bieber's identity to persuade girls as young as nine to commit sex acts on their webcams which he then filmed.
He would use Facebook, Skype, MSN and imesh to convince his victims he was Bieber or other teen boys, reeling in hundreds of victims around the globe. He would then threaten them with violence and exposure if they did not carry out his sordid demands.
Teeside Crown Court heard that Hunter was eventually exposed by police officers in Tasmania after one of his victims raised the alarm. He was traced by Interpol who alerted Cleveland police. When officers eventually raided his home they found more than 800 films and stills taken from online chats he'd had with the girls.
Hunter admitted 15 charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and 14 of making indecent photos of children.
The Mirror reports that Hunter even threatened to kill the brother of one terrified victim if she refused his demands.
Hunter's barrister, Tamara Pawson, said he knew he had a problem and was ready for treatment.
Branding him 'every parent's worst nightmare', judge Peter Bowers said Hunter's deceits were elaborate, and that it was one of the 'most serious cases of internet abuse' the court had ever dealt with.
He added Hunter had carried out 'gross exploitation' and admitted he didn't know 'what damage' he had done to the children involved.
"It represents callous - almost sadistic - exploitation of young girls," the judge said. "Their feelings were manipulated and their naivety and vulnerability undermined and used by you for your own benefit and personal gratification.
"It is certainly a salutary warning to all parents of teenage children and what is capable of being done on the internet and how it can be abused."
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