NI man who sent naked selfies to teenage boy given three years probation

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A man who sent naked selfies to a teenager and who was later caught with indecent images of children was made the subject of a three-year probation order today (Friday).

Ryan Winters' offending came to light when the teenager 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 who now lives at Grosvenor Road in 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, and said he and the youth engaged in a "masturbation game" with each other whilst online.

And when asked about the images on his phone and laptop, Winters said he requested a majority of them from a "person online."

Winters subsequently admitted to 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 all 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 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 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 has 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 has since demonstrated an insight into the impact his offending has had.

As well as being placed on three years probation, Winters will also be on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.