A 23-year-old man from Swansea appeared before Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Thursday 21st April 2022 where he was sentenced for a series of sexual offences against children.
Samuel Morris has pleaded guilty to 40 counts of sexual offences against children aged between 11-15yrs old. He was sent to prison for 11 years and has also been given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.
Morris’ offences included inciting children to engage in penetrative activity, inciting sexual activity and numerous offences of sexual communication with a child.
Morris also pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children of Category A, B, C, extreme pornography and prohibited images and to the distribution of indecent images of children online.
South Wales Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) conducted a thorough and complex online investigation which resulted in children being identified within the UK as well as in USA and Australia.
POLIT detectives identified that Morris had been posing as a 16 year-old boy on social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat to meet children and establish a relationship.
He encouraged children to send indecent images of themselves which he captured with screen recording equipment and saved to his devices before sharing a number of these with other sex offenders via online forums.
The investigation resulted in 31 children aged between 11 and 15 years old being identified as victims.
Due to the complex and thorough investigation conducted by South Wales Police Detectives from the Specialist Crime, Police Online Investigation Team led to an early guilty plea and today’s sentence.
Detective Sergeant Lauren Jones, who led the POLIT investigation, said:
“As a result of the complex and thorough investigation by detectives from the force’s Specialist Crime Team and POLIT Morris had little choice but to enter his guilty plea to the charges placed before him.
“Our investigation involved the examination of numerous social media platforms accessed by Morris to groom his young victims. We were able to identify and safeguard 31 children from the UK and beyond.
“Working with forensic examiner DC Anthony Kirby and in liaison with police colleagues in Australia and the USA we were able to ensure that all the children who were victims of Morris’ crimes were successfully identified.
“I want to pay tribute to the bravery of the young victims in this investigation for speaking to police and supporting this prosecution.”
“The Police Online Investigation Team is a dedicated unit that specialises in identifying offenders who target children online and commit child sex offences.
“Tackling online child sexual exploitation is a national priority for law enforcement and we are pursuing more offenders and safeguarding more children than ever before.
“I encourage all parents who have children that access social media platforms to monitor your child’s online activity and encourage your child to discuss any incidents that may occur online. Working together, we can ensure that children are aware of the dangers presented online by offenders such as Samuel Morris.’’
If parents or carers are concerned that their child is being contacted by adults as a result of having shared sexual imagery they should report to NCA-CEOP at www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre. Anyone who is concerned about the online activity of their child should contact South Wales Police on 101.