ALICANTE prosecutors want an online sexual groomer of children to be jailed for 285 years if convicted of 42 charges.

The 37-year-old man used social media to befriend 42 children from across Spain and coax them into sending him home-made pornography.

The man had an online relationship with a girl for three years and met her for sex when she was 15-years-old.

He was arrested shortly after meeting her in an Alicante hotel with police uncovering the full extent of his activities, which also included hooking up with another girl.

The victims were aged between 9 and 16 years, and all bar four, were females.

All of the children were tricked by his active participation in online forums and WhatsApp groups between 2017 and 2019.

Some of the groups were created by himself using a bogus identity as he pretended to be a child.

In some cases, he joined groups which featured children unsure of their sexuality.

Once he built up an element of trust with a potential victim, he revealed his true identity and in one-to-one chats, he swerved conservation topics towards sex and asked them to send him pornographic images.

The predator also latched onto vulnerable children staying in juvenile centres and even paid them to maintain contact with him.

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