The criminals whose sordid Snapchat history gave them away
Written by Skywave Radio News on December 3, 2021
In the 21st century social media is as much a part of life as hot running water or instant coffee.
And for many social media users, documenting the ins and outs of everyday life is as natural as breathing. We are a society becoming more and more obsessed with our phones.
But what happens when the ‘ins and outs’ are not entirely above board?
A drug dealer’s girlfriend, a murderer, two sexual predators and a driver trying to avoid a speeding fine were among those who found out.
These people all took to Snapchat to commit or brag about their crimes.
Their messages may have disappeared from the picture sharing platform, but they came back to haunt them when they were used as evidence to convict them.
A drug kingpin’s girlfriend bragged about her luxury holiday in the sun as she splashed out on the profits of his crimes.
Jessica Humphreys, 22, enjoyed shopping trips in Marbella and sunbathed on the terraces of a deluxe villa – Los Flamingos – on the Costa Del Sol.
In November 2019, gang leader Usman Akhter and Humphreys flew out to Marbella where they enjoyed “the trappings of Akhter’s criminal lifestyle”, Preston Crown Court heard.
Her phone revealed Snapchat messages which showed her ‘playing out’ and ‘being spoilt’ in the Spanish sunshine. In a separate video she recorded her boyfriend Usman Akhter, 37, taking shipment of kilos of cannabis and weighing them out at a house in Sarah Street, Darwen.
Moments before recording the clip, she messaged a friend: “Just in the middle of something I shouldn’t be.”
Lemar Forbes was one of two teenage convicted of murdering Preston schoolboy Sarmd Al-Saidi.
Hours after stabbing the 16-year-old in a conservatory in Deepdale, Forbes brandished the still-bloodied murder weapon in a Snapchat video, and recorded a voicenote saying: “I’ve killed someone bro you know what I mean it ain’t a joke bro you know what I mean I keep on thinking about it, its playing and playing in my head bro. thinking that I’m a murderer bro know what I mean…it ain’t a joke bro.”
Forbes, 17, was jailed for life along with 19-year-old Jamie Dixon, for the murder of Sarman.
A driver who was caught speeding four times by the Grane Road average speed cameras narrowly avoided jail when he tried to palm the points off onto someone else.
Irfiqa Shahid, 29, was travelling 160 miles a day to take his wife to work as a doctor at Royal Blackburn Hospital when he fell foul of the safety measures, Preston Crown Court heard.
On four separate occasions between December 2020 and February 2021, Shahid was caught by the Haslingden cameras.
But when the Notices of Intended Prosecution (NIPs) came through the post he took up an offer from Snapchat to make the points go away.
A sexual predator groomed a young girl on Snapchat and WhatsApp before raping her in a park.
Alex Dyson, 23, later bragged he “f***ed a virgin” and “she deserved it” on the social media platform, two days after the attack in January 2021.
A ‘controlling’ thug who abused and assaulted his former partner breached a court order after just nine days – by sending her a Snapchat heart emoji.
Liam Mountford left his former partner ‘wishing she wasn’t alive anymore’ and was given a two-year restraining order in June this year.
However the cocaine and alcohol abuser breached the order just nine days later by replying to a photograph of his ex-girlfriend on Snapchat with a love heart emoji and a ‘bitmoji’ character.
The 34-year-old was hauled back to court in August and warned he had ‘run out of chances’.
A catfish stole the profiles of young men from Snapchat and used them to groom four teenage girls.
Colin Curran, 48, kept a special ‘catfishing phone’ which he used for his sordid and illegal activity. In July 2020 the mother of one of Curran’s victim’s noticed a change in her daughter’s behaviour and checked her iPad.
She discovered the 15-year-old was being groomed online and contacted the police. Investigations led officers to Curran, and officers searched his electronic equipment.
They found he had used his own identity and two aliases, of boys aged 17 and 18, to contact four girls, aged 15. He also met one of the girls on three separate occasions – although they only “ate pizza and watched TV”, Charles Brown, prosecuting, told the court.
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