Mum airs sickening topless photo texts
A UK mum has revealed the moment she discovered her nine-year-old daughter had sent topless pictures to a paedophile on a video app called Likee after he threatened to "take her away".
The young girl has been left "traumatised" after she was tricked into sharing the explicit content with a user who had been posing as a teenage boy.
The girl's mother, who has not been named for legal reasons, said the stranger told her daughter he would "find her and take her away from mummy" if she didn't send photos of herself without a top on.
Since her horrifying discovery, the mother has hit out at Likee, an app that allows users to post videos using "magic" filters.
The app has an online community of more than 200 million subscribers worldwide, leaving the mother unaware of who groomed her daughter.
SHE'S STILL AFFECTED
The 49-year-old, from the UK's northwest, described her daughter's ordeal as traumatising.
"My daughter used to have the most glorious smile but just isn't there anymore and her eyes look distant and vacant," the woman said.
"She's clearly still affected by what happened and is having lots of meltdowns in school."
The mother also said her daughter was having nightmares at night and struggling to sleep because "she's frightened this man is coming to find her".
'IT WAS TRAUMATISING FOR HER'
The horror unfolded in May this year, when her emotional daughter broke down to her, saying she needed to speak to her about something "upsetting".
She then refused to hold her mother's hand and spent three hours crying into a pillow before the young girl managed to reveal the harrowing truth.
"She was clearly struggling to get it out and I had to sit with my back to her because she couldn't face me," the mother said.
"She told me she had made friends with someone called James on the app who, over time, had asked her to send inappropriate photos of herself."
According to the woman' daughter, James had threatened that if she didn't send nude photos to him, "he knew where she lived and he would find her and take her away from me".
"It was very traumatising for her and I was trying to reassure her that she had done nothing wrong, and had been tricked, but it was horrible to listen to," the woman said.
The shell-shocked mother immediately called the police, who are currently trying to retrieve the messages from the account after the girl deleted them in a panic.
The agonised mother is not sure how far back the messages go between her daughter and the stranger or whether her daughter sent him anymore pictures.
She even logged onto the Likee app, posing as her daughter, and was stunned to receive a barrage of messages from strangers who asked her to play "dares" with them.
Others begged her to send them X-rated photos.
The mum has shared her daughter's experience to raise awareness about paedophiles who use online apps to groom children.
The woman said her daughter had begged to be allowed to download the app as all of her friends were using it.
She argued that she didn't want to be "left out", and her parents finally relented.
Both the woman and her husband researched Likee and agreed it appeared to feature a lot of young children, innocently posting videos of themselves dancing to girl bands like Little Mix.
But the devoted parents had no idea the direct messaging service was a breeding ground for paedophiles - with accounts being able to be turned from private to public at the click of a button.
The mother has now launched a petition to ban private messaging functions in apps aimed at children under 13.
"I'm a good mum, I consider myself to be verging on neurotic because I'm so protective," she said.
"There's no way I would've risked it if I thought it would be so easy for an adult to contact her."
She said she wanted to highlight this issue to other parents who, like her, thought something like this wouldn't happen to their own child.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission