Essex

Xbox child sex abuser Liam Cann jailed for 10 years

Liam Cann Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Liam Cann was described as "clever and calculating" by a judge at Chelmsford Crown Court

A bell-ringer who "wheedled, connived, bullied and bribed" boys as young as eight has been jailed for 10 years for a string of sex offences.

Liam Cann, 22, of Blind Lane, Goldhanger, Essex, contacted a number of boys while playing Xbox games online, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

He was convicted of 23 sex offences in October last year, having abused six boys from 2006 until 2014.

Judge John Dodd described the defendant as "clever and calculating".

The judge told the court that Cann, a bell-ringer at his local church, had bribed his victims "with Fifa game currency", which players can use to buy in-game features and build their teams of footballers.

Cann, who admitted one offence of possessing indecent images, was given an extended licence period of six years to remain in place after his release, and was placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The court heard Liam Cann contacted a number of boys while playing Xbox games online

His other offences included sexual grooming, attempted rape of a child under 13, and nine counts of sexual activity with a child.

A police investigation was started after one of the boys' mothers contacted the NSPCC.

One of his victims told the court he had been contacted by Cann "by messaging" and had later received a naked image of the 22-year-old.

"He gave me £20-£50 through the Xbox and I drew it on Liam's account. I knew he gave another boy £200."

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