Footballer, 21, who groomed girl, 14, on Snapchat before raping her is jailed | The Sun

A FOOTBALLER who groomed a teenage girl on Snapchat before raping and threatening to blackmail her has been jailed.

Barton Rovers player Kieran Hamilton, now 21, added the then 14-year-old victim on Snapchat in December 2018 before convincing her to send him explicit pictures.

Hamilton, who was 17 at the time, used these images as leverage over the victim and forced her to meet up with him.

The victim, who felt suicidal, told police that she felt she had to do what Hamilton wanted so he would not share the photos of her.

Hamilton, of Chesford Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

After a trial in April he was found guilty of raping the girl in February 2019 and cleared of raping her in January.

Barton Rovers terminated Hamilton’s registration when they learned of his conviction.

He scored a goal in a 1-1 draw at Walthamstow the day after his conviction.

In an impact statement read out in court, the victim shared how the incident has left her feeling scared and anxious, and the impact the assault had had on her future.

She said: “Right after it happened, I was scared of being alone, I’d cry if I was on my own, and I couldn’t sleep alone.

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“I felt anxious all the time, nauseous and I stopped eating, and I started getting suicidal thoughts.

“I lost a lot of my friends, in school I would disassociate myself and I would not pay attention to my lessons.

“I would blame myself a lot for what happened, because I feel like I could’ve stopped it.”

Judge Alan Blake,who sentenced Hamilton to five years in prison, said to him: “You displayed callous behaviour.

“This was controlling and coercive behaviour to try and control two young teens. The fact you didn’t use physical force does not make it consensual – you knew she wasn’t giving genuine consent.

“There was a significant level of harm experienced. Your messages portray manipulation and exploitation leaving the complainant feeling trapped.

"Your attitude and behaviour make you a risk to young women.”

Detective Constable Hayley Carroll from Bedfordshire Police’s cyber hub said: “Hamilton’s despicable and predatory behaviour saw him use explicit images as a means of controlling his victim for his own sexual gratification.

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“It is absolutely vile and completely wrong. We have a clear focus on tackling any perpetrators of violence against women and girls and putting them behind bars.

“No matter when an offender abused or exploited you, we want to know about it. We will listen and put these people behind bars so they cannot hurt any one else.”

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