LAUNCESTON police have praised the bravery of a Tasmanian girl whose information was key to the downfall of a ``sadistic'' paedophile in Britain.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was one of many girls across the world who fell victim to online sexual predator and blackmailer Robert Hunter, of Middlesbrough.
Australian Associated Press reported from London that Hunter, 35, was jailed for 14 years on Monday for 30 offences, including 15 charges of having caused or incited a child to engage in sexual activity, and 14 charges of having made indecent photographs of children.
Hunter used social media programs such as Facebook, Skype and MSN to trick his victims into stripping via webcams and performing sex acts for him.
His offending dated from 2010 to 2012.
Police found more than 800 videos and images on Hunter's computer, all made by him.
Hunter also convinced some victims that he was the pop star Justin Bieber.
His victims were as young as nine and came from Europe, Asia, Canada and the US.
Interpol referred the case of the Tasmanian girl to police in this state, and Northern criminal investigation branch detectives helped UK police officers with their investigations.
Launceston detectives interviewed the victim and provided her with support.
Acting Detective Inspector Jonathan Higgins said the report from the Tasmanian girl was integral in stopping Hunter from abusing more girls.
He said the teenager was traumatised, but police were most grateful for her having had the strength to report what had happened.
``We would like to publicly thank this girl for having the courage to come forward,'' Detective Inspector Higgins said.
``She showed the courage to stop him.
``It was a pretty big thing for her.
``We would hope it encourages other people in the community to report these issues.''
Detective Inspector Higgins said 14 years' jail was a ``pretty good penalty'' and he was happy with the successful prosecution.