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Crewe man jailed for sexually abusing young boys online

A man from Crewe has been jailed after he admitted sexually abusing young boys online.

Nicholas Hatton appeared at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday 16 April where he was sentenced to 18-years in prison.

The 34-year-old, of West Street, Crewe, had earlier pleaded guilty to –

  • Six counts of causing/inciting a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity 
  • Two counts of causing/inciting the sexual exploitation of a child aged 13-17
  • One count of possession of indecent images of children
  • Three counts of making indecent images of children (A, B, and C)
  • Three counts of taking indecent images of children (A, B, C)
  • One count of possession of prohibited images of children

In addition to his prison sentence Hatton was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life and handed an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

The investigation into Hatton initially began in 2021 when officers from Cheshire Police received intelligence from a social media company in relation to his online activity.

A warrant was conducted at Hatton’s home in Crewe where a number electronic devices were seized and sent for analysis.

During examination of the devices officers recovered over 12,000 indecent images of children, more than 750 indecent videos and 1,050 prohibited images.

Following the discovery, Hatton was rearrested in June 2022. During questioning he denied all knowledge of who the children in the images were. He was subsequently released on conditional bail.

Thanks to the help of the Cheshire Police Victim Identification Officer, detectives were able to identify two of the four victims in the case – both of whom were teenage boys in America.

The victims confirmed that they had been in contact with Hatton for several years and that he had enticed them into engaging in online sexual activity.

One of the victims was 12 when the offences began, in 2014. He told officers that he had been groomed by Hatton throughout his childhood, stating that he had been coerced into sexually abusing a two-year-old family member on camera.

As a result of his admissions, the teenager has since been convicted of rape and sexual assault in America and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Hatton was subsequently charged in connection with the offences and later pleaded guilty to all of the charges.

Following his sentencing, Detective Constable Faye Taylor of the Online Child Abuse Investigation Team at Cheshire Police, said:

“This has been a complex and lengthy investigation which ultimately uncovered Hatton’s despicable behaviour.

“It was apparent throughout the investigation that Hatton is a sexual predator who preyed on vulnerable young boys and had no regard for the effects his actions would have on the victims or their families.

“Due to the grooming that he suffered as a child, one of Hatton’s victim in America has been handed a lengthy prison sentence, while his family member suffered sustained sexual abuse.

“While none of the victims will ever be able to forget what happened to them, I hope that Hatton’s conviction and the sentence handed to him will provide them with some closure.

“I also hope that Hatton’s conviction will act as a reminder that there are no borders when it comes to sexual abuse, it can happen anywhere at any time and the impact can be lifechanging.”

For advice on identifying signs of sexual exploitation visit: 

Child Sexual Exploitation & How to Keep Your Child Safe | NSPCC

To report a sexual offence call Cheshire Constabulary on 101

Information can also be given online at: 

https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report 

...or anonymously via Crimestoppers on:

0800 555 111

Pictured - Nicholas Hatton of West Street in Crewe.

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