A MAN is facing a substantial prison sentence after hacking into underage girls’ Snapchat accounts and disclosing private sexual photos.

Robert Parsons, 22, pleaded guilty to 24 sexual offences committed against girls who were strangers to him between September, 2019, and May last year.

He will be sentenced on Thursday morning after the case was yesterday opened and mitigation heard.

Parsons, formerly of Wyke in Bradford, now in HMP Leeds, hacked into seven Snapchat accounts belonging to teenage girls and made repeated requests to some of them demanding intimate photos, prosecutor David McGonigal told Bradford Crown Court.

The victims, aged 14 to 19, were left frightened, embarrassed, stressed and feeling isolated, the court heard.

The mother of one girl, who was 15 at the time, said she was popular and confident before the “horrific ordeal of being blackmailed” by Parsons. She now suffered panic attacks and severe anxiety and depression.

The woman said he had stolen her daughter’s innocence and she hoped his punishment would give all the girls some justice.

“I want that man to know that I am disgusted by him,” she stated.

Mr McGonigal said the 24 counts included causing a computer to perform a function with intent to secure unauthorised access to a program or data, attempting to cause a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, disclosing private sexual photos without consent, breach of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, breach of the sex offender notification requirements and possession of indecent images of children.

Parsons’ previous convictions included making indecent photos of children dating from when he was aged 15 and 16.

Mr McGonigal said he had persisted in the offending with disregard for court orders. The offences involved significant planning and had left girls severely psychologically damaged.

Parsons’ barrister, Abdul Shakoor, said he knew he faced a substantial prison sentence for offences committed when he was 20.

He found himself addicted to pornography and that led him down a path of social isolation and the Covid lockdown made matters worse.

Fortunately, none of the complainants sent the images Parsons demanded so no sexual activity without consent ultimately took place, Mr Shakoor said.

Parsons was an intelligent man who was offered a place at university to study computer-related engineering but his previous convictions had prevented him from going.

He had been in custody on remand for more than 13 months and was motivated to put his offending behind him.

He knew he had behaved appallingly and he was disgusted with himself, Mr Shakoor said.

When adjourning sentence, Judge Hatton said it was important that the complex matter was properly thought through and all the evidence digested.

Parsons was before the court on a video link from prison and so the matter could not be postponed until later in the day.

He was remanded back into custody.