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Press

C4 investigation sees sex scammer jailed

Voyeur Mark Lancaster was jailed for 16 months after being exposed in a Channel 4 undercover investigation.

In November 2012 Channel 4 revealed how Lancaster had set up a website, sponsorascholar.co.uk, targeting financially vulnerable students with an offer of a university scholarship worth up to £15,000 in exchange for sex with wealthy clients.

It is believed that over 40 people contacted the website and arranged to meet Lancaster.

He met up with women in a rented apartment and insisted they have sex with him as part of an interview process.

But the website was bogus and the "sponsors" fictitious.

On at least one occasion, Lancaster fitted hidden cameras in the flat and filmed sexual activity with one victim without her knowledge.

Lancaster was arrested in December last year after Channel 4 exposed the scam.

On Friday, the 39-year-old was jailed for 16 months and also ordered to remain on the sex offenders register for 10 years after being jailed at Southwark crown court.

He had pleaded guilty to voyeurism and trafficking persons at a previous hearing.

In presenting the facts to the judge, the Prosecutor, Ms Wilding, told the court:

“Mark Lancaster was an IT consultant who had been contracted to work for the Foreign Common Wealth at Milton Keynes.”

“His activities came to the attention of [Channel 4] journalists to whom thanks must be offered. For it was through investigative journalism that the defendant was revealed and as a direct result his activities were brought to an end. The police became aware of Mark Lancaster after an investigative journalist Richard Cookson who was working for Channel 4 alerted them. It was this journalist who reported the crime against the complainant in this case that led to this prosecution.”

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