Married ex-Cambridge Analytica accountant, 42, who offered teenage girls £1,000 to perform sexual acts is jailed for six years
- James Fennimore, 42, tried to set up a meeting with a 15-year-old teenage girl
- She told police she felt ‘worthless’ and tried to take her own life, court hears
- Fennimore was a financial analyst at Cambridge Analytica between 2016 & 2017
A former Cambridge Analytica analyst who befriended teenage girls on Instagram and offered them up to £1,000 to perform sexual acts for him was jailed for six years today.
James Fennimore, 42, tried to set up a meeting with a 15-year-old after persuading her to send him images of her touching herself intimately.
The girl later told her family she had been targeted by the pervert and he was arrested.
She told police she felt ‘worthless’ after she ‘fell into his trap’ and had tried to take her own life, Isleworth Crown Court heard.
James Fennimore, 42, tried to set up a meeting with a 15-year-old after persuading her to send him images of her touching herself intimately
The former accountant was handed a nine month suspended sentence at Southwark Crown Court in 2008 for downloading pictures of children.
He had logged into internet chat rooms and offered paedophiles ‘new vids’ of young girls being raped by adults.
Fennimore chatted to internet perverts in the USA, swapping pornographic photographs and films to satisfy his sick addiction.
He also set up private cyber rooms, inviting other paedophiles to view his collection of pornography.
Fennimore was so worried about being caught by his wife he set up sophisticated ‘cleansing’ software which wiped the pictures off the system as soon as he had viewed them.
But he had been unwittingly in contact with an American police officer who passed his details to the Met Police.
Fennimore was a financial analyst at Cambridge Analytica between 2016 and 2017 before moving on to work at Sky as a data analyst.
Michael Williams, prosecuting, said the paedophile returned to his old ways when he contacted the 15-year-old girl on Instagram in July 2020.
The former accountant was handed a nine month suspended sentence at Southwark Crown Court in 2008 for downloading pictures of children
They exchanged messages and Fennimore started offering the teenager money.
‘He was offering her £1,000. At first he said he didn’t want anything in return,’ said Mr Williams.
But he started asking her to pose in lingerie and send him the photos back.
Fennimore also asked the girl to send images of her sucking her thumb and rubbing her breasts, the court heard.
‘He asked her how many boys she had slept with,’ said Mr Williams.
His requests became more perverted as he offered more money each time but sent nothing to his victim.
The girl later told police she was trying to help her family due to the financial hardship they suffered during the pandemic last year.
‘Falling into this trap made her feel worthless,’ said the prosecutor.
‘She attempted to take her own life.’
Following Fennimore’s arrest last October police ‘interrogated’ his electronic devices and identified three further teenage victims, who he befriended on Instagram.
He had offered another girl £1,000 after chatting to her and complimenting her on the social networking app.
Fennimore, of White City, west London, soon began asking her to send him photos and clips of her in just her underwear.
‘He told her to play with herself in bed,’ said Mr Williams.
‘She didn’t want to do it but felt she had to.’
He targeted two other girls in the same way and asked them to send back intimate photos, the court heard.
Ben Rowe, defending, said Fennimore felt isolated during the lockdown last year and fell into a ‘pattern of trying to contact young women’.
Judge John Denniss, who retires today, told Fennimore: ‘You should have realised you were convicted in 2008 that that should have been the end of your offending with young girls.
‘It wasn’t and as a result you are now in serious trouble.’
He said Fennimore split up with his wife and fell into alcoholism and was drinking a bottle of wine and a bottle of spirits each day.
The judge said his first victim has suffered ‘ongoing trauma’, adding: ‘She was suicidal as a result of what you did to her’.
Fennimore, who appeared in court via videolink from HMP Wandsworth, sat at a desk and played with a pen as he was jailed for a total of six years.
He earlier admitted inciting a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity and making indecent photographs of children.
He denied two further charges of inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity and the prosecution offered no evidence in relation to those offences.
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