A DENTON man, described in a psychiatric report as having a ‘paedophilia disorder’ has been jailed for 14 months.
Ryan Holt, 46, was uncovered when a mother unwittingly checked her nine-year-old son’s messages and discovered the exchanges between him and the defendant.
It led to police subsequently unearthing a stash of more than 2,000 sexually explicit photographs of children on devices owned by Holt.
He appeared at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, for sentencing having earlier pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child and making indecent/pseudo photographs of a child.
Simon Blakebrough, prosecuting, explained Holt contacted the boy on the gaming platform Xbox Live.
The conversations were not sexually explicit with Mr Blakebrough outlining many involved the boy pretending to be a dog with references to canine behaviour.
“There were unusual exchanges but sexual in nature, hence the first charge,” he said.
When Holt was arrested at his home in Denton, police seized electronic items with 1,490 indecent images of children discovered on an Acer laptop, including the rape of a boy whose age was estimated to be between three and five years.
The search engine also revealed Holt had visited websites which showed his interest in under-age boys.
A further 620 indecent images of children were found on Holt’s Samsung mobile phone and some were stored in a gallery which was PIN protected.
Mr Blakebrough said: “When the defendant was interviewed, he was asked about the boy and their conversations on Xbox Live and Instagram.
“He denied sexual desires and felt himself as an uncle to this young boy and did not class himself as a paedophile.”
He pointed to the severity of the case – the age and vulnerability of some of the children, the large number of the most serious Category A images including moving images and the fact that images were concealed by being stored on a PIN protected App.
Mark Fireman, defending, said: “Mr Holt in many ways cuts a sad figure in the psychiatric and pre-sentence reports.
“He is rather socially isolated and has difficulty forming relationships.”
Mr Fireman pointed out Holt had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
He continued: “There is no question these offences are sufficiently serious to cross the custody threshold.
“No effort was made to contact the child and, though there was a sexual undercurrent to the conversations, they were in babyish terms.”
Mr Fireman pointed out Holt was arrested in December 2018 and two-and-a-half years later had not reoffended and there was “some prospect of rehabilitation”.
Judge Angela Nield said: “The offences were discovered by happy chance when a mother quite properly inspected the communications of a number of mediums including Xbox.
“There are not many early pubescent children who are not interested in playing electronic games on Xbox or PlayStation, gaming activities and communications which rely on the use of the internet.
“It places young children in a very difficult position because they often do not know who they are communicating with.
“Unfortunately, there are people who use the internet to prey on their innocence and it gives parents a dilemma when to intervene.”
Judge Neild, referring to the charges, continued: “The conversations with the boy were overtly sexual and childlike, but it doesn’t remove it from the scope of concern about grooming boys of that age by engaging in conversations on a level they understand.
“I have to view the conversations in your overall behaviour and the sexual images found on your devices, especially the number of Category A, one with a child aged between three and five.”
Judge Nield also referred to the diagnosis in the pre-sentence report of Holt of having a paedophilia disorder and his sexual fantasies with pre-pubescent children.
Apart from the 14-month prison sentence, Holt must sign the sex offenders’ register and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order, both for 10 years.
He is also barred for life for working with children and vulnerable people while his laptop and mobile were ordered to be forfeited and destroyed.