A 23-year-old pedophile used Snap Map feature on Snapchat to track down young girls whom he spotted in Tesco in Colchester, Essex where he worked.

The Snapchat feature lets the user see where other account holders are geographically located when they have it enabled. The pedophile would follow movements of the girls in the store then make in-person contact with them. Over a period of five years, Matthew Clarke groomed about 13 girls, who were as young as 12 years old, according to Daily Star.

Following his meeting with them, Clarke told the girls to share sexual images and messages with him, reported The Sun. He used to blackmail the vulnerable girls by telling them that he would make their explicit photographs public if they didn't do what he wanted. After meeting three girls in person, he abused them.

After he pleaded guilty to 30 sex offences at Ipswich Crown Court, England, he got jailed for 12 years and will serve another eight years on an extended license and will stay on the sex offender’s register for rest of his life.

While sentencing him, judge Emma Peters said, "You are a threat to children and you are every parent’s worst nightmare."

In April 2019, one of his victim's mothers reported him to cops then a month later he was arrested. He had more than 30 different conversations on Snapchat with girls aged under 16, it was found by police.

The accused knew the age of the girls still he "proactively pursued them," Detective Sergeant Ben Rushmere said. He added, "He instigated conversations with them and on many occasions persuaded them to send him intimate or explicit images of themselves to him."

Rushmere said that the "pattern of predatory behavior" that was seen over a long period, clearly means he is a danger to girls. According to him, the work of his team meant the accused had no option but to admit the charges against him, and so he will now spend a significant amount of time in prison. He also praised the victims for their bravery who reported to cops what Clarke had done to them. He hopes this sentencing will help the victims to move forward.

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