Manchester Evening News

Pervert jailed for tying up schoolboy on video

HEAD CONTACTED POLICE OVER ‘SEXUALLY MOTIVATED’ YOUTUBE CLIPS

- By ANDREW BARDSLEY

● Proceeding

A SCHOOL brought in the police after one of its pupils was seen on a YouTube video being restrained by a teenager.

Romeo Smalley has been jailed after sexually assaulting the boy having posted two videos of him online while he was tied up and ‘bound.’

His barrister said it is a ‘game that young people play,’ but Smalley, 18 at the time of the offences, admitted his motivation­s were sexual. A judge said it was clear that he was ‘sexually aroused’ in one of the clips.

In one video, Smalley asked viewers to ‘please like and subscribe.’ The headteache­r at the boy’s school contacted the police after he was recognised online, Manchester Crown Court heard.

The two videos lasted a little over six minutes and just over five minutes. In one the boy was tied up with tape and was seen trying to escape. Smalley, now 20, had an interest in ‘restraint’ and ‘bondage,’ prosecutor Peter Wilson said.

Officers found ‘other videos of concern,’ which he was not prosecuted for, Mr Wilson added. Smalley said he was ‘aroused by the thought of people being tied up,’ rather than being interested in children sexually.

Smalley, from Oldham, gave the boy a mobile phone so they could message each other on Snapchat. In one video he said he would be paid money if he completed the ‘activity.’ The boy said he ‘didn’t like’ being tied up.

He was told not to tell his parents, the court heard. Smalley was arrested and denied sexually assaulting him. He claimed it was the boy’s idea to film the videos and that the child had suggested posting them on YouTube ‘for a laugh.’ The boy said Smalley ‘never did anything funny.’ “What you did was very serious,” Smalley was told by Judge Tom Gilbart. “You have taken advantage of a much younger person.

“You sexually assaulted him on two occasions. There was evidence of grooming and manipulati­on in what you did.” The boy’s mother said the crime had affected him ‘hugely.’ “Romeo was devious in how he did this,” she said.

“He [the victim] thought it was him that had done something wrong.” Defending, Howard Bernstein claimed it was part of a ‘game.’

“This was a game that young people play,” he said.

He said Smalley’s sexual motivation ‘raised it from an innocuous game to a sexual offence.’

Mr Bernstein said Smalley, who has no previous conviction­s, has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and is ‘lacking in maturity.’ He said Smalley has been in custody for the past eight months.

“He has been bullied in prison, he is finding prison extremely difficult,” he said. Smalley pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13.

He was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, and ordered to sign the sex offender register for life. evidence from hannah Blackwell, mr heywood’s girlfriend. she said she had gone to bed in the early hours of september 17 and at about 5.30am mr heywood returned to their home.

“he has woke me up, i was asleep,” ms Blackwell told police in an video recorded interview played to the jury. “he was like ‘hi, i need your help’. he said ‘someone has been stabbed’, but he didn’t say who, and he didn’t say who had done it.”

mr heywood also told her he’d been ‘glassed’ and had cut his head, the jury heard.

● Proceeding

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