We have to find a way to halt sick sexual predators
ANY responsible parent will be horrified by today's story about a young girl who fell victim to sexual grooming on the internet.
At every level it demonstrates the most abhorrent nature of the computer age.
While the internet has opened up a world of knowledge and communication, it has also unleashed a dark and disturbing side.
It has fed the depraved minds of sick predators by making it possible for them to gain easy access to naive youngsters.
In fact, social networking sites have opened up a Pandora's box of shocking behaviour that parents ignore at their peril.
Evil appears to breed evil because children are increasingly being groomed over the internet for the sole purpose of online sexual abuse, according to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
Ceop says offenders may target hundreds of victims at a time, and described the abuse as an "alarming new trend".
Teenagers looking for love, romance, flattery and attention are easy targets.
It's a terrible situation for parents to contend with, hard to police and difficult to grasp the enormity of the problem.
That's something our story will help to rectify thanks to the family who bravely spoke.
But just how bad do things have to get before serious action is taken to curb sexual predators and excesses online?
A girl of 13 has been abused and raped. And we call ourselves a civilised country. It's about time we acted like one.