Leicester man poses as girl online to lure young boys

A man from Leicester has gone on trial accused of posing as women to lure dozens of schoolboys on the internet.

Henri Pinney, 22, of Wynfield Road, is accused of committing sex offences against young boys aged between 10 and 17. He denies all 40 separate charges.

Pinney is accused of making indecent photographs and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

The prosecution allege Pinney was caught when the fake accounts and pictures were found linked to his devices.

The trial began yesterday at Leicester Crown Court. Michelle Heeley QC said that Pinney had pretended to be a host of young girls using various social media accounts set up on his mobile phone and tablet.

He then used these accounts to make contact with the boys, asking them to send him indecent pictures of themselves.

Detectives say Pinney targeted around 30 boys between 2015 and 2017.

Pinney was caught when detectives searched his home and examined his computer and mobile phone, where they found the fake accounts and numerous pictures of the young boys.

They also discovered the images of young women, which had been used as profile pictures on the accounts he had created.

The prosecution also said some of the accounts set up to contact the boys were created in places like North Yorkshire and Jersey, while Mr Pinney was on holiday there.

Pinney has admitted three charges of sharing indecent images with a boy, who was 15 at the time, claiming they were in a consensual relationship.

However, he denies the other charges, including encouraging an 11-year-old boy to watch pornography.

The trial at Leicester Crown Court is expected to last seven weeks.