A pervert has been jailed for attempting to incite a child into sexual activity online.
Malcolm Porter, of Burnside, Eddleston, has been sentenced to 28 months behind bars at Carlisle Crown Court after pleading guilty to 15 offences.
The 24-year-old, formerly a photographer specialising in covering mountain-biking events, admitted nine counts of making indecent images of a child, five counts of distributing indecent images of a child and one charge of attempting to incite a child under the age of 16, a 13-year-old boy, into sexual activity.
Porter’s offending came to light following a referral to Cumbria Constabulary from another police force in September 2015 alerted by a boy about an online conversation he’d had with Porter.
After his arrest, the constabulary’s digital media investigation unit raided his student flat in Carlisle, seized devices belonging to Porter and found that between 2013 and 2015 he had been accessing indecent images of children and had amassed a collection of more than 1,500, 300 of them in the most serious category.
Porter would then share those indecent images via social media apps and online chatrooms.
Evidence was also found of Porter using his photography company to engage with children and offer them money in return for indecent images. Peter Gilmour, prosecuting, told the court.
Paul Tweddle, defending, pointed out that Porter was of previous good character.
Porter has been placed on the sexual offenders’ register and was issued with a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.
Detective constable Carolyn Willacy, of the digital media investigation unit, said afterwards: “Porter would use his own photography business to meet children and attempt to entice them into sharing indecent images with him.
“In total, Porter’s devices held over 1,500 indecent images of children which he would share with people for mutual sexual gratification.
“We will continue to prosecute those who abuse children by engaging in this sort of behaviour.
“It is important that young people realise the dangers that lurk online as there are people out there who are intent on exploiting children.
“We encourage anyone who has any suspicions of any sort of abuse to contact us so we can investigate.”