“You plainly derived pleasure from the agony you caused"
Abdul Elahi, aged 26, of Birmingham, was jailed for 32 years after he blackmailed nearly 2,000 females into sending him child sexual abuse videos.
He would then sell them on to other paedophiles.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that he tried to exploit victims in 34 different countries from 2017 to 2019.
Elahi was described as being “in a league of his own” in terms of the sheer scale of his crimes, often “juggling” tens of potential victims while posing as a wealthy stockbroker offering financial help.
Some women and young girls were blackmailed into abusing a baby or a sibling by Elahi, who had offered to pay off debts with Bitcoin.
His youngest victim was nine months old.
The court heard that Elahi also “acted as a mentor” to other online paedophiles.
Elahi also pretended to be a doctor, typically offering to pay large sums of money for intimate images. He then used the pictures to force victims into filming increasingly degrading sexual acts.
One offence saw a teenager being told that her parents would be killed if she did not comply with his orders.
Approximately 550 females in the UK are believed to have been targeted by Elahi, who sold one person more than 1,000 hours of videos after storing 67,000 abuse images.
During the offending, Elahi lived at his family home and his only legitimate income was from working for a short period at McDonald’s.
Elahi admitted 158 charges, including 31 counts of blackmail, numerous child sexual abuse offences and fraud.
Judge Sarah Buckingham said Elahi had caused distress while bullying and threatening women and girls that some had thought about taking their own lives.
She told Elahi: “You seemingly sneered in the face of their despair and suggested that they should just record their efforts.
“Your distribution of indecent images was on a vast scale, which allowed you to make money.
“The true number of your victims likely runs into thousands. You inhabited a raft of ‘sugar daddy’ websites targeting financially desperate women.
“In some cases, they could not afford to eat.
“You plainly derived pleasure from the agony you caused – with complete disregard for your victims’ suffering.
“There was a sadistic element to your offending, demonstrated through the blackmail and the relentless targeting of children and young adults.”
His co-defendant Kirsty Nicholls met Elahi on a so-called sugar daddy website and helped him to make indecent images.
She was arrested following a lengthy investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The judge told Nicholls: “You committed these offences with Elahi – your offending was motivated entirely by financial gain.
“The offences are so serious that only an immediate sentence of custody can follow.”
Abdul Elahi was jailed for 32 years. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
He will be considered parole once he has served two-thirds of his sentence.
Elahi will also be subject to an eight-year extension to his normal licence period following his eventual release.
Kirsty Nicholls, aged 36, of Middlesex, was jailed for six years and nine months.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said it had taken action to find and remove online material linked to Elahi.
Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the IWF, said:
“Appalling crimes like this are becoming more and more prevalent as predatory and cynical abusers find new ways to reach and manipulate victims.
“Elahi is now being made to pay for what he has done, but his victims are still living with a sentence all of their own.”
Sarah Ingram, Specialist Prosecutor for the CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division, said:
“The extent of the depraved and sickening offences that Elahi committed is truly shocking.
“He manipulated vulnerable women and children for his personal gain, and his actions led others to do the same.
“He has ruined the lives of his victims, and it is right that he has been sentenced today to the full extent of the law for his crimes.”