YouTuber Who Abused Multiple Underage Fans Avoids Jail Time

16 August 2018, 10:47 | Updated: 16 August 2018, 10:49

tom laywood abuse jail youtuber
Picture: YouTube
Benedict Townsend

By Benedict Townsend

"‘The experiences were extremely distressing for the victims"

A YouTuber who groomed and abused a number of underaged victims has narrowly avoided jail time.

Yesterday, at Nottingham Crown Court, Tom Laywood plead guilty to three counts of inciting underage boys to engage in sexual activity, as well as similar counts involving underage girls. He additionally plead guilty to forcing a minor to watch a sex act. The crimes took place between April 2014 and April 2015.

DC Thor Long, the police officer who lead the investigation against Laywood stated after the ruling that ‘He would make unwanted and uninvited sexual advances against boys and girls, and whenever those advances were rebuffed, he would threaten to use his growing online influence to embarrass the victims.'

Laywood had over 30,000 subscribers on his now-deleted YouTube channel, and a sizeable following on other social media channels.

But Laywood did not receive a prison sentence

Despite being found guilty of these severe sexual crimes, Tom Laywood did not receive any prison time. Judge Michael Stokes, who presided over the case, instead gave the former internet star Laywood a 12-year community order and a five-year sexual harm prevention order, which means he is not allowed to work with or contact anyone under 16 online. Laywood must also have mental health treatment. Judge Stokes did specify precisely why he chose this course of action, but hinted very heavily that he had been influenced by evidence surrounding Laywood's mental state.

He stated that: "It is perfectly clear from all of the reports that your behaviour is rooted in the conditions which you suffer and which have had a debilitating effect on your ability to judge situations...You are a very intelligent young man and you have huge ability, but without going into all of the details your ability to judge situations like other young men is affected by your conditions."