A man who groomed a young boy through his Xbox Live before sexually assaulting him has been jailed.
Nathan Hastings took over his victim’s life after making contact through the gaming platform, with a 16 month campaign of ‘controlled abuse’.
The 26-year-old had such a damaging impact on the boy’s life that he ‘prevented him from enjoying his childhood’.
Hastings first contacted his victim in 2014, then started travelling to Manchester on a daily basis to visit him.
He manipulated the boy, who was only 11-years-old at the time, and dominated his life to the point that he felt isolated from his friends and family.
He also sexually assaulted the young victim on two occasions.
Hastings, 26, of Tatton Road, Crewe, was sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court on Friday to four years in prison after being found guilty of grooming and two counts of sexually assaulting a child.
Speaking after his sentencing, Detective Constable Anna Barker of the GMP’s Phoenix Tameside CSE team said: ‘Nathan Hastings knew full well how old his victim was and that what he was doing was wrong.
‘Yet he continued his campaign of abuse without showing a shred of remorse.
‘His abuse dominated the boy’s life, preventing him from enjoying his childhood and stopping him communicating with friends and family to the point where he became withdrawn.
‘This had a massive impact on his life at a time when he was at a vulnerable age and still developing as a person.
‘I would like to pay tribute to him for having the courage to come forward to report Hastings to police and for the bravery he has shown giving evidence during the trial.
‘I hope this result has repaid the trust he placed in the authorities and provides him with some feeling of justice when coming to terms with what happened.
‘Child sexual exploitation can take place in many forms. In this case a young boy was manipulated through online gaming whilst in his own home.
‘I would advise all parents or guardians to take interest in the contact that young people have with others online and report any suspicious activity to police.’Let's