18-year-old YouTuber Tom Laywood has pleaded guilty to charges of grooming and sexual misconduct towards his fans.
Tom rose to fame through his now-deleted YouTube channel Tomisnotawesome, which had garnered 31,000 subscribers by late 2014.
Reports say that he would invite fans to his house, where he would coerce them into sexual activity. If they refused he would threaten to use his influence to “embarrass them” online.
Tom pleaded guilty to three counts of inciting underage boys to engage in sexual activity, as well as admitting to two similar counts involving underage girls. He was given a 12-year community order and a five-year sexual harm prevention order. On top of this he must also undergo mental health treatment.
Judge Michael Stokes at Nottingham Crown Court said to Tom: “As I am sure you appreciate the offences to which you pleaded guilty to are very serious.
“It is quite clear that your problem is long standing and I cannot remember a case where the defendant has been the subject of so much analysis than you have been.
“It is perfectly clear from all of the reports that your behaviour is rooted in the conditions which you suffer and which have had a debilitating effect on your ability to judge situations.”
The crimes took place between August 2014 and April 2015. Derbyshire Police launched an investigation after victims came forward in early 2015.
DC Thor Long, who led the investigation against Tom, commented after the ruling: “This was a long and complex investigation involving a large number of victims, all of whom shared a similar story about Tom Laywood. […] The experiences were extremely distressing for the victims in this case and I would like to commend them for their bravery in coming forward to the police and reporting Laywood’s actions.”