Ex-Cambridge Analytica paedo pestered teens for photos in exchange for money

A former Cambridge Analytica analyst has been jailed after pestering girls as young as 15 for indecent selfies.

James Fennimore, 42, left one victim suicidal after offering to give her money for images and videos in her underwear last year.

According to LinkedIn, Fennimore worked at the scandal-hit political consultancy firm between October 2016 and February 2017 – a year before the Facebook data breach came to light.

The paedophile admitted two counts of causing or inciting sexual activity with a child and five counts of making indecent images of a child relating to four victims.

At his sentencing hearing, a judge said the financial analyst’s life revolved around the internet and “seeking illicit pleasure” after the breakdown of his marriage.

Isleworth Crown Court heard Fennimore was living at his mother’s house at the time – drinking a bottle of wine and a bottle of spirits every day.

Judge John Dennis said: “The girl who prepared a victim impact statement said it’s an ongoing trauma for her that she got into this situation. She expresses extreme shame and anguish about the secrets she had to keep.

“I have to take into account that she was suicidal as a result of what you did towards her.”

Prosecutor Michael Williams told the court today: “It was July 13 of last year and the defendant contacted a 15-year-old girl – her age was visible on her Instagram profile and she confirmed her date of birth in messages with the defendant.

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“From the outset of the exchange he was offering her money, he offered her £1,000 in gifts and first said he didn’t want anything in return.

“However he never sent any money but went on to ask for her number and instructed her to download WhatsApp.

“On August 16, she asked if he was going to send any money and he asked her to send a head to toe photo in lingerie, he offered her £100 for the photo.”

The court heard Fennimore went on to instruct the girl to take further photos and videos with the promise of money.

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He also asked her how many boys she had slept with and suggested they meet up in London, the court heard.

In a victim impact statement, the victim said the messaging has had an “ongoing and traumatic effect” on her.

She said she wanted to use the money to help her family, who were in financial difficulty due to the pandemic.

The prosecutor said: “It made her feel in shock that she got into the situation despite coming from a loving family who had warned her about the dangers of online groomers.

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“Falling into his trap made her feel stupid, worthless and full of shame.

“She has attempted to take her own life.”

Fennimore was identified through his telephone number and a further three child victims were identified through social media accounts.

The court heard another of the victims was aged 15 and the other two were aged 17 – as indecent images of children can relate to anyone under the age of 18.

It was said the three other victims were similarly duped by Fennimore into sending indecent images of themselves in their underwear.

Judge Dennis sentenced Fennimore to six years in prison, will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and must sign the sex offender’s register for an indefinite period.

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