Mother’s terrifying warning after her 12 year old son fell under ’24-hour control’ of pervert who groomed him via Playstation and Xbox.
The distraught mum revealed how her son would spend hours chatting to the abuser who contacted him via Xbox and Playstation.
As part of a campaign to raise awareness of online grooming, his mum has spoken out about the harrowing ordeal, reports the Manchester Evening News.
She said: “We found being at home wasn’t safe for him – that’s where it was all happening – right under our noses.
“He had always been a happy lad but we noticed he had got more withdrawn – he lost weight and shut himself away in his room all of the time.”
“We were worried, but after speaking to friends with children the same age, we put it down to hormones.”
The offences only came to light when, after months of abuse, her son broke down and confided in one of his teachers at school.
“I was devastated but also in a strange way relieved that now I finally knew what was wrong and that we could do something about it and help him”, the mother added. “All the clues suddenly fell into place and it made sense of so much of his behaviour.
“For example he used to go to sleep with his headphones in, saying he was listening to music on his phone to calm him. But actually it was the offender who wouldn’t let him switch off and wanted to listen in – even when he was sleeping – to have 24-hour control.
“He would constantly be talking to him via his Xbox and Playstation, or on his phone. The longest phone call was one where he made him stay on it all day. He would hear the family talking to my son and telling him off…then drilled into him that we were no good.
“He would say ‘get away from your parents and come with me, I’ll look after you’.
Predator took over a young boys life
“He took over our son’s life, grooming him, being in constant contact online, buying him Xbox games, manipulating him, and segregating him from his friends and family to gain total control.
“He eventually started meeting him straight from school and would take him to local playing fields where he would sexually assault him. He also convinced him he was gay – whereas now he realises he isn’t.”
Police launched an investigation as soon as the boy confided his experiences and the offender was charged with grooming and sexual abuse. He was found guilty in October 2017 and sentenced to six years in prison.
“I would urge parents not to dismiss any radical changes in behaviour – you know your children, you must trust your instincts. Keep conversations about what they are doing, and who they are seeing, ongoing.”
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