'The Crown' extra jailed for sexually exploiting seven teenage girls

Extra on Netflix hit The Crown, 68, is jailed for 25 years for sexually abusing seven girls as young as 13 and making them carry sado-masochistic sex acts in London hotels after finding them on a teen dating website

  • John Bancroft convinced vulnerable victims to carry out sexual acts for money
  • Bancroft, is a ‘former Netflix Crown extra and union employee’, court was told
  • He was jailed for 25 years after being convicted of multiple counts of rape
  • His younger half-brother Graham Manicom, 62, was also involved in the abuse
  • Bancroft was convicted of rape and meeting a child following sexual grooming
  • Manicom also admitted two counts of paying for the sexual services of a child 

A former extra on the Netflix hit drama ‘The Crown’ has been jailed for 25 years for preying on teenage girls and sexually exploiting them for money and gifts.

John Bancroft, from Buckhurst Hill in Essex, targeted seven victims on online dating apps designed for teenagers and offered them ‘sugar daddy’ experiences, before subjecting at least one victim to bondage and sado-masochistic sexual practices.

The prosecution told the court that the 68-year-old would make fake accounts to target ‘vulnerable young girls’ and offer to pay for ‘sexual services’ once he had manipulated their trust to satisfy his twisted sexual fantasies. 

Bancroft’s younger half-brother Graham Manicom, 62, of Waltham Abbey, Essex, was also involved in the abuse of the young victims and jailed for four years.

The pair sexually abused one of the girls – nicknamed ‘princesses’ and ‘sugar babies’ at a Hotel Ibis in Stratford, east London, after offering her chocolate and alcohol, jurors were told.  

Disturbing text messages read out in court also showed Bancroft would send pictures of his genitals to his victims, and even told one 13-year-old she should come to London so that ‘my mates and I can “gang bang” you’.

Bancroft was convicted of four counts of rape and meeting a child following sexual grooming by a jury in December last year. 

He earlier admitted five counts of paying for the sexual services of a child, ABH, attempted sexual communication with a child and nine counts of attempted causing or inciting the sexual exploitation of a child, as well as seven counts of taking indecent images and six counts of distributing indecent images of children. 


John Bancroft, left, targeted teenage girls online by offering ‘sugar daddy’ experiences and subjected at least one victim to bondage, domination and sado-masochistic sexual practice, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard. His younger half-brother Graham Manicom, right, was also involved in the abuse of the young victims

John Bancroft and Graham Manicom (left) are pictured entering on the hotels used to meet their teenage victims 

Bancroft, described by the prosecution as a ‘former Netflix Crown extra and union employee’, met his victims at hotels and at his home, then paid them up to £200 a week to engage in sexual acts.

He also offered them alcohol to lower their inhibitions, before convincing some of his victims to take part in threesomes with Manicom.

Bancroft would later tell another teenage girl that he wanted to be her ‘mentor, father, provider and lover’. 

Bancroft sent images of his genitals to the young girls he had groomed and encouraged them to send indecent photographs of themselves back to him. 

In one incident one of his victims was hit with a cane after a bag was placed over her head while hot wax was poured onto her skin.

Bancroft’s illicit activities were uncovered when a sister of one of the victims contacted police in May 2017.

He was later arrested and analysis of his devices revealed a much-larger grooming campaign.

Bancroft was handed an extended jail sentence totalling 25 years. He was also placed on the sex offenders register.

His half-brother Manicom admitted two counts of paying for the sexual services of a child and was jailed for a total of four years.    

Speaking after the brothers were convicted Olivia Ball, for the prosecution, said: ‘John Bancroft was a manipulative, predatory and sickening man who was old enough to be the grandfather of the girls he targeted.

John Bancroft is pictured meeting one of the girls at the hotel. He used online dating apps designed for teenagers and offered them ‘sugar daddy’ experiences, before subjecting at least one victim to bondage, domination and sado-masochistic sexual practice

‘He groomed and exploited these young girls. He chose victims that he perceived to be vulnerable – often those without a father figure and girls with little sexual experience.

‘In exchange for money, these young girls were without question expected to pander to Bancroft’s sexual demands which included group sex and sado-masochistic acts.

‘Graham Manicom was no stranger to his brother’s activities and was also a willing participant.

‘The prosecution case against the defendants included strong witness testimony from the victims, phone evidence and DNA evidence from sex toys found at Bancroft’s home address.

‘The victims in this case have shown incredible fortitude throughout this investigation and prosecution. The CPS is committed to bringing sexual offenders to justice.’

Bancroft was described by the prosecution as a ‘former Netflix Crown extra and union employee’. Pictured: Claire Foy and Matt Smith on set for The Crown in 2016

Detective Sergeant Kelly Ryan from Modern Slavery and Child Exploitation team said: ‘Bancroft and Manicom are sick individuals who targeted vulnerable girls for their own twisted gratification. 

‘They are old enough to be the victims’ grandfathers and their manipulative actions have had a devastating impact for the girls they abused.

‘The brothers had a significant power imbalance over the victims and they were extremely calculating in who they targeted and sought girls who were distant from their families, had financial worries or who had been previously abused.

‘The seven victims who assisted police throughout this lengthy investigation have been extremely strong and brave throughout the trial and I sincerely hope this result will start to bring them some closure.’

Detective Superintendent Andy Furphy, the Met’s lead responsible officer for exploitation, said: ‘Bancroft and Manicom pose a serious risk to vulnerable women and girls and I am glad they will be behind bars for a significant period of time.

‘I am pleased the severity of Bancroft’s offending was taken into consideration when he was given an extended sentence. He is a sick and twisted man just like his brother.

‘The pair caused immeasurable harm to the victims and they preyed on their vulnerabilities in a sinister and calculating manner.

‘I would like to commend the seven victims for coming forward and for their bravery throughout the investigation and subsequent trial.

‘I also commend the detectives who worked closely alongside them and were relentless in their efforts to put these dangerous and sick men behind bars. Their work was recognised with a personal acknowledgement from the judge.

‘I encourage anyone who has had a similar experience to that of these victims to come forward and report it to police. We will support you and take all reports seriously.’ 

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