A PERVERT has been jailed for eight years after pretending to be global YouTube sensation and former Corsham School pupil Zoe Sugg so he could groom children online.

Online fashion blogger Ms Sugg, 26, was impersonated by David Harmes, of Cheshire, as he coerced young girls into performing sex acts.

Harmes admitted to 35 offences against victims aged between eight and 18 and was jailed at Chester Crown Court on Monday.

The 20-year-old used Skype to contact victims across the country taking on false identities to lure them into sex acts.

The offences include causing or inciting a girl under 13 in sexual activity and making and distributing indecent photographs of a child.

He did not meet any of the victims and he also claimed to be a member of the boy band Bars and Melody, as well as a modelling agent.

DC Simon Ledger, of Cheshire Police, said: "Harmes duped young girls into thinking they were talking to people they looked up to and in some cases posed as a modelling agency representative so that he could manipulate them for his own pleasure.

"It is a timely reminder that while the internet is an amazing tool, it has a darker side which we need to be mindful of and shows just how imperative it is that parents are aware of the sites their children are accessing and who they are communicating with.

"People like Harmes have no qualms with using the internet to their own perverse means."

Ms Sugg, commonly known as Zoella by more than 10 million people who subscribe to her channel, studied at Corsham School – a place where she began filming makeup and fashion tutorials while she studied for her A-levels in art, photography and textiles.