A PERVERT was left ‘embarrassed and ashamed’ after police discovered dozens of indecent images of children as young as six on his phone.

Paul Greene had also sent naked images of himself to a girl, Bournemouth Crown Court heard.

The 23-year-old, of Eddison Avenue, Dorchester, received a knock on his door from police officers following an investigation by the National Crime Agency into child sex images on April 27, 2020.

Prosecuting, Robert Griffiths, told the court that he admitted being in possession of those images, which stretched to as far back as May 2018.

He said: “He came to the police’s attention from the National Crime Agency about suspicious activity in trying to contact children via Snapchat.

“Items were seized from him for examination and officers found on his mobile phone 51 Category A images, 13 Category B images and 34 Category C images.

“The Category A images included videos of female children from six to 14 years old.”

Their investigations uncovered a sexualised chat with a girl from as far back as April 2017, which saw Greene and the victim exchange naked images of themselves.

The victim was aged 14 to 15 years old during this time. The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stated Greene claimed he was a 15-year-old boy.

Mr Griffiths said: “Also on the phone was sexualised chats with children and one of those who at the time of the offence was 14 and 15.

“She said she had been befriended by the defendant and he said he was 15.”

Griffiths explained how Greene requested approximately 15 intimate images of her via Snapchat and also sent unsolicited sexual videos of himself to the victim.

In a victim personal statement, the girl described Greene as ‘rather controlling’ who 'tried to entrap her’.

It read: “I trusted him. He thought it was an intimate relationship, but it was a friendship.

“When it came out, I couldn’t sleep, didn’t want to meet friends and I was hugely embarrassed."

Greene pleaded guilty to possession of Category A, B and C images between May 31, 2018 and April 27, 2020 at a previous court appearance in Weymouth.

He also admitted to sexual communication with a child between April 3, 2017 and January 8, 2019.

Mitigating, Andrew Houston, said Greene claimed that he ‘doesn’t think he lied about his age’ during the sexual communications with the underage teenager, but stated he was remorseful.

He said: “He is clearly embarrassed and ashamed about what he has done. It is his first time in trouble.

“These offences came to light because they examined his phone.

“He has been candid with the police, probation service and knows what he did was wrong and bad.

“He knows he needs some help to ensure this behaviour doesn’t happen again.

“He is someone who hasn’t been in trouble before and capable of rehabilitation.

“He is hopefully not going to come to police's attention again at this young age.”

Mr Houston said Greene had suffered from bullying both at school and a previous workplace, leaving him unemployed.

Sentencing, Judge Brian Forster, described Greene’s actions as ‘serious’ – but did not issue a custodial sentence in order for him to ‘take advantage’ of the support offered to him.

He said: “The reason why the case is serious because there are real victims in this type of case.

“The children are the victims depicted in the images and used for circumstances but that is the seriousness of it. There are quite a few images and they are children as young as six.

“In addition, when you were younger you engaged in sexual communication with a child.

“You were leading a lonely life at the time and communicated with someone who was 14 and 15 years old.

“There is an issue that you pretended to be younger but you engaged in swapping photos.”

Greene was issued a three-year community order which includes undergoing a sex offenders rehabilitation programme, as well as 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for five years as well as being issued a sexual harm prevention order for five years, which controls his use of the internet and circumstances he can meet younger people.

Greene was also ordered to undertake 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £85 victim surcharge. His seized mobile phone was ordered to be destroyed.