Colin Smith (21/01/1963) of Everton Street, Darwen has been jailed for 12 years for a series of child sex offences.
Appearing at Minshull Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 15 November 2022), Smith pleaded guilty to 11 charges against five victims, including offences of meeting a child following sexual grooming, making and distributing indecent images of children, and sexual activity with a child.
On Tuesday 19 August 2020, Smith was arrested when he returned to a hotel room in Bury, in which he was putting up two teenage girls who had been reported missing at the time, to find GMP officers waiting for him.
Colin Smith was a calculated individual who created multiple social media accounts and aliases, identifying as a teenager, to lure his victims into trusting him.
Following his arrest, numerous devices belonging to Smith were seized which uncovered further victims of grooming, evidence of possession and distribution of Indecent Images of Children (IIOC), and extreme pornography.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Partington said: “Firstly, I would like to publicly recognise the courage of the two young girls who were staying in the hotel room – they made contact with someone they could trust, which enabled us to safeguard them and, ultimately, secure this prosecution.
“Smith’s behaviour towards the victims was nothing short of sickening – in some cases, he plied them with alcohol in order to commit abhorrent and depraved offences. His prosecution and imprisonment should reassure our communities about our commitment to fighting this type of crime and keeping vulnerable people safe.”
Constable Carly Baines of GMP’s Sexual Crime Unit said: “Today’s sentencing is the result of a long, meticulous investigation by our complex safeguarding hub. Smith’s behaviour is deplorable and completely unacceptable, and I hope this result sends a stark warning to offenders that these behaviours will not be tolerated by GMP.
“I would like to thank the victims for their resilience and bravery in reporting this incident to the police and giving us the opportunity to put a dangerous and depraved man in prison, and I hope this sentencing will now allow the victims to be able to move forward with their lives.”
Could you spot a child who is at risk of CSE?
Spot the signs of child sexual exploitation: Going missing for periods of time or regularly returning home late; skipping school or being disruptive in class; appearing with unexplained gifts or possessions that can’t be accounted for; experiencing health problems that may indicate a sexually transmitted infection; having mood swings and changes in temperament; using drugs and/or alcohol; displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour, such as over-familiarity with strangers, dressing in a sexualised manner or sending sexualised images by mobile phone (“sexting”); increasing their screen time or showing unusual use of online platforms, such as websites, social media, apps or games; they may also show signs of unexplained physical harm, such as bruising and cigarette burns.
If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, we encourage you to not suffer in silence and report it to the police, or a support agency so you can get the help and support available.
– Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Manchester provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated response to men, women and children who live, or have been sexually assaulted, within Greater Manchester. They offer forensic medical examinations, practical and emotional support as well as a counselling service for all ages. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and can be accessed by calling 0161 276 6515
– Greater Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential information, support and counselling service run by women for women over 18 who have been raped or sexually abused at any time in their lives. Call on 0161 273 4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
– Survivors Manchester provides specialist trauma informed support to male victims in Greater Manchester who have experienced sexual abuse, rape or sexual exploitation. Call 0161 236 2182