Northern Ireland man who sent naked selfies to teenage boy given probation order
A man who sent naked selfies to a teenager and who was later caught with indecent images of children has been made the subject of a three-year probation order.
Ryan Winters' offending came to light when the person in question told his mother about the naked images he had received.
Belfast Crown Court heard the 22-year-old, who is originally from Carnmoney but now lives in Grosvenor Road, Manchester, sent pictures of his erect penis to the 14-year-old male, and "asked for some in return".
Prosecutor Simon Jenkins said that in June 2015, the teenager's mother contacted the PSNI to inform them her son had received messages of a sexual nature from Winters, who at that time was 18.
Police attended Winters' address in August 2015, when they seized his laptop and mobile phone. When the devices were examined, a total of 153 indecent images of children were located along with 160 prohibited images of children.
When Winters was interviewed by police, he admitted making contact with the youth via Facebook.
He also admitted sending naked selfies.
When he was asked about the images on his phone and laptop, Winters said he had requested the majority of them from a 'person online'.
Winters subsequently admitted a string of offending, including causing a child to engage in sexual activity and possessing indecent images of children.
Mr Jenkins said some of the indecent images depicted "acts with very young children and toddlers" and told Judge RoseAnn McCormick QC that all of the images were stills and not videos.
Defence barrister Sean O'Hare said Winters had accepted responsibility for "making contact with the complainant" and for the "inappropriate level of contact" between them, which he said was a "source of great pain and regret" to his client.
Mr O'Hare said Winters accepted the impact his actions would have had on the teenager, and the distress this had caused not just to the youth but also his family.
The barrister said the offending took place when Winters was experiencing a "particularly trying time in his life", adding that there was no physical contact between them.
Mr O'Hare concluded by saying Winters' offending occurred at a time when he was immature, and that in the four years he had been living in England, there has been no further offending.
Passing sentence, Judge McCormick said she noted Winters had been subjected to homophobic abuse in the past, and that he had since demonstrated an insight into the impact his offending has had.
As well as being placed on probation for three years, Winter will also be on the sex offenders' register for five years.