Blackpool defendant told court he is dying

A pensioner who posed as a 14-year-old boy to encourage a schoolgirl to commit online sexual acts has had his sentencing adjourned over claims he is terminally ill.

Derek Lee, 66, of Wolverton Avenue, Bispham, sent his victim pictures of a teenage boy, along with pictures of his own private parts, Preston’s Sessions House Court heard.

He told 13-year-old girl he was a young boy called Billy Fish who was ‘nearly 15’. He had saved pictures of the teenage boy to his latop in a folder named ‘Pictures of Me’.

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Prosecuting, Emma Kehoe, said his offending was exposed when police raided his home and found images of child abuse on his computer on May 31, 2015.

She added: “It also became apparent he had been chatting to young girls online during the investigation. The officers were able to trace one of these young girls.”

The court heard he befriended the youngster online and they spoke over Skype.

Lee pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

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The court heard a statwment from the girl’s mother saying her daughter had lost confidence and her trust in people. Defending, Chris Hudson said Lee had been diagnosed with cancer and had sent the court a letter claiming his diagnosis was terminal.

Lee was bailed until February 10 as Judge Simon Newell adjourned the case to ask the NHS for proof of the diagnosis.