Detectives say they identified Benjamine Webb after reviewing a huge volume of indecent online content, and also matching photos of his distinctive tattoos taken in custody, with those in a video of a child being abused.

They say 30 year old Webb, from West Drayton, spent years gaining the trust of the victim’s families.

He has been sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court to 17 years and 9 months behind bars.

When he is eventually released from prison, Webb will be placed under stringent police management.

Detective Constable Samantha Thompson co-ordinated the work of specialist colleagues across the Met.

DC Thompson said:

“This was a truly horrific set of crimes. This man preyed on young children and exploited them.

“What he did was wicked, building up relationships with their parents and ruthlessly manipulating them to think that he was a person who could be trusted. The custodial sentence imposed is fully justified and richly deserved.

“Our role has been to give a voice to these innocent children. Having to break the news of what happened to their parents, was one of the most difficult jobs that any police officer will face in their work. I am grateful for them for their bravery and working with us to gather evidence against Webb, so we can now be sure that he can’t do this to any other children.

“It was a complicated investigation, involving different teams across the Met and it was thanks to our use of digital forensics and technology we were able to convict him.

“The Met is committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society and I would like to thank all the officers who worked tirelessly to put this evil predator behind bars.

“While our investigation was very thorough, we are aware there may be more victims who have yet to be identified. If there are any parents with concerns, we urge you to get in touch so we can give you and your children the support you need.”

The investigation began when officers from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Intelligence Unit received a referral in January 2023, telling them an indecent photograph of a child had been uploaded to social media platform, Kik.

Immediate enquiries were carried out and the officers were able to identify Webb as the suspect.

He was arrested for possession of indecent images of children and possession of cannabis in March 2023.

Seven of his electronic devices were seized. Officers examined phones, laptops and a hard-drive and found hundreds of images and videos of child sex abuse, many of which related to three particular young children.

Police were able to identify and safeguard a child under the age of five who appeared in indecent videos and images.

Another video showed a baby boy being abused and Webb was initially charged with offences against those two victims.

While he was remanded to prison, work continued on analysing the indecent material on his devices, leading to four children from separate families being identified and safeguarded.

Officers were unable to identify the baby boy in the first video, despite extensive enquiries. Webb did not help to identify him but pleaded guilty to this offence.

Webb offended against both boys and girls, aged between one and nine years old, in the nearby area. All these children and their families were known to him. He photographed and filmed them naked, sexually assaulted them in videos and distributed the material to other offenders online.

One of these offenders was arrested two weeks after Webb, and has been jailed.

Webb was charged with nine offences relating to making and distributing indecent images, engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a boy under 13 and sexual assault of a girl under 13. He pleaded guilty to these offences.

Upon release, Webb will be subject of a stringent Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Restraining Order. He will be managed by officers in the Met’s Jigsaw team, a team who manage sexual offenders in the community and take action against them to prevent reoffending.

If you would like to contact police about the investigation into Webb, please call 101 quoting Operation Snakeroot and ask for DS Rob Blant.