A 'predatory' woman is now behind bars after thousands of messages revealed she had 'directed' a man to sexually abuse a four-year-old child.

Jonathan Walker of Pontisticill, Merthyr Tydfil, was found guilty of sexually abusing a four-year-old boy along with engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and possession of indecent images.

The 33-year-old has been sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison.

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Naomi O'Brien of Ashton-under-Lyne was also found to be involved in the heinous abuse.

Police uncovered more than 1,000 messages between Walker and O'Brien which indicated a sexual interest in children.

They revealed the woman had 'incited' Walker to sexually abuse the young victim on multiple occasions in March this year.

Following a complex investigation, and in conjunction with South Wales Police, the pair were arrested for multiple offences.

The 31-year-old woman pleaded guilty to three counts of intentionally encouraging and assisting another commit a sexual assault against a child, two counts of intentionally encouraging and assisting another to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

O'Brien will now face a total of four years and three months in prison for her involvement, with a four years and four months sexual harm prevention order.

She must also sign the sex offender notification requirements for life.

DI Marsden, of GMP’s Online Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “Firstly, our thoughts remain with the victim and their family having gone through such a terrible ordeal.

“Following a tenacious and lengthy investigation of 1,865 messages, our dedicated team was able to prove that the female suspects' chats were not simply a case of role-play or fantasy - she had knowledge that the male had an interest in sexually abusing a young boy on the direction of her. 

“This is a significant result for what is a very vulnerable and innocent 4-year-old child who was subjected to multiple counts of abuse, but also for all other children in the community who could have been subject to similar offending by a predatory female who was inciting others to commit acts of sexual harm against the most vulnerable in society.

“I hope the sentence sends a strong message to the public that we will pursue all available lines of enquiry to ensure we can bring justice to victims of serious sexual assaults.”

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