A MAN used a popular website to try to encourage a boy he believed was 15 to perform a sex act on camera.
Liam Boagey, 21, asked Skype users to send him indecent pictures of teenage boys and tried to get one to carry out a sex act for him, Teesside Crown Court heard.
He’s homosexual and wished to keep that secret from his family and friends.
He was caught with a collection of 1,131 pictures of children aged between eight and 15, including 289 showing serious sexual abuse.
It was said Boagey resorted to trawling the internet for sex chat and images of teen boys instead of admitting he was gay to his family.
He was spared jail so he could get treatment to cure his interest in young boys.
Police seized two computers and a mobile phone which Boagey had used to download the indecent pictures and movies when he was arrested at home on November 4 last year.
Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said: “The investigation established he had also been using the laptop to engage in online Skype chat.
“Examination of the Skype chat logs proved the defendant had been instigating conversations of a sexualised nature in order to incite distribution to him of indecent photographs of children.”
He said Boagey would start a truth or dare to talk about sexual preferences before trying to obtain indecent images from them.
One Skype user offered to send him a link to indecent material in January 2013.
In September 2013, Boagey asked the same user if he had any pictures of boys aged about 14.
The court heard that in July 2013 Boagey talked about sex to a Skype member, who said he was 15, and Boagey encouraged him to perform a sex act over a webcam.
The authorities could not establish if the sexual activity did occur or if the person Boagey spoke to was actually 15.
Boagey pleaded guilty to attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity and inciting the distribution of indecent images.
He also admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme pornography.
Jim Withyman, mitigating, said Boagey was 19 when he committed the offences.
He said: “This is a young man who had difficulty coming to terms with his sexuality.
“He’s homosexual and wished to keep that secret from his family and friends.
“It led him to lead a somewhat solitary life and to look to the internet.
“He can be helped and realises his behaviour was completely unacceptable.
“He’s incredibly embarrassed about what he’s done and ashamed at the embarrassment he’s caused his loving family and wishes he had just dealt with wrestling with his own sexuality in a very different way.”
Judge Tony Briggs said: “Those who try to encourage other youngsters or people who they think are youngsters to act in this way need to be discouraged.”
Boagey, of Lightfoot Crescent, Hartlepool, was given 15 months prison suspended for two years.
He will also be on the Sex Offenders’ register for seven years and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for the same length.