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'X Factor' star Danny Tetley jailed for nine years for child sex offences

Julia Hunt
Contributor
Danny Tetley performs on stage during The X Factor Live Tour at Motorpoint Arena on February 22, 2019 in Cardiff (Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns)

Former X Factor contestant Danny Tetley has been jailed for nine years after using his fame to groom teenage boys before sexually exploiting them.

The 39-year-old from Wibsey, West Yorkshire - who reached the semi-finals of the show in 2018 – was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a child charges.

The court heard that Tetley used his status on the show to satisfy his "perverted sexual needs" by getting young teenage boys to send him indecent images for money.

West Yorkshire Police undated handout photo of former X Factor contestant Danny Tetley who was jailed for nine years by a judge who branded him a "despicable creature" after he groomed and induced teenage boys to send him indecent images for money.

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The singer spent "many thousands" of pounds to glean explicit images of youngsters and videos of them performing sex acts.

He even sent photographs of fellow X Factor contestants to groom youngsters.

Described as a "highly predatory and manipulative" offender, he targeted seven boys aged 14 to 16.

He told one boy "the more on show, the better the price" as he hounded him for pictures.

Danny Tetley performs during the X Factor Live Tour at SSE Arena on February 23, 2019 in London (Jo Hale/Redferns)

The singer paid one boy a "record fee" of £350 for a photograph and offered to pay up to £1,000 to one youngster for an explicit video.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, told the court: "He used his fame to influence or help persuade children - some of them he also groomed - to get them to send him indecent pictures.

"He used WhatsApp and would send photographs of himself.

"Aside from the requests for images, he would engage the boys in highly sexualised chat."

The court heard after his arrest last May, Tetley contacted one boy to ask him to delete their chats, which was a breach of his bail conditions.

Danny Tetley performs on stage during The X Factor Live Tour at Motorpoint Arena on February 22, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns)

Andrew Dallas, in mitigation, said Tetley, who was born with a cleft pallet, was bullied severely at school and became addicted to cocaine after the murder of a relative in his early twenties.

He said much of his offending took place while under the influence of drink and drugs late at night and was "pure fantasy".

He added that although Tetley had met some of his victims, no sexual contact was made.

Tetley, also a former contestant on the series Pop Idol, pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual exploitation and two counts of distributing indecent images at previous hearings.

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Sentencing Tetley to nine years in prison, with an extended licence period of eight years, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said: "The reality is that our society is deeply interested in celebrity, it does no harm.

"You exploited the status of your success. You traded on it to satisfy your perverted sexual needs.

"Many will see you for what unfortunately you are - a despicable creature with every few redeeming features.

"A pre-sentencing report described you as highly predatory and manipulative. It says you have shown persistent predatory and manipulative behaviour against children to have your sexual needs met.

"That is spot on to me."