Boy, 12, was asked for lewd pics

A man who tried to encourage a schoolboy to commit sexual acts over the internet has had his jail term suspended.

Tuesday, 7th March 2017, 10:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:09 am
Crown Court
Crown Court

Ashley James Bellis, of Liverpool Road, Penwortham, Preston, asked the age of the 12-year-old boy, then encouraged him to send images and videos of his private parts.

The 22-year-old, who was prosecuted following a probe by Lancashire Police, also admitted he had committed a similar offence involving a 13-year-old boy, this time using a messenger service.

Bellis admitted a string of six charges during the hearing before Preston Crown Court.

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Judge Philip Parry jailed him for 20 months but agreed to suspend the term for two years after hearing submissions from his defence lawyer.

The court heard police had raided Bellis’s home on May 12, 2015.

During the search they seized his computer equipment.

It was later examined by experts and found to contain a stash of indecent images and videos, the court was told.

Those offences all relate to a period between 11 January 2013 and 12 May 2015.

Bellis admitted charges of possessing 94 indecent images of children, and three counts of making indecent images.

They include 26 at category A - which is considered the most serious category in law - with 23 others at category B and 45 at category C.

It comes after the Post revealed police figures have shown more than 500 crimes involving the sexual abuse of children were recorded in Lancashire in just three months.

The figures, which are monitored by the NSPCC, showed an increase in boys under 13 coming forward to report offences, compared to the same quarter last year.

To report abuse call 101.