A casino worker who tried to encourage children he met online to commit sexual acts has had his eight month jail term suspended for a year.
Student Alexander William Cheetham, 22, formerly of Douglas Road, Preston, used social media apps to have lewd conversations and exchange images with three underage schoolgirls between 2014 and 2015.
He admitted three counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, possessing indecent images and possessing an extreme image.
Cheetham, of Old Park Road, Sheffield, was given a sexual harm order, 180 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity by Judge James Adkin at Preston Crown Court.
He said: “Those conversations were explicit. One made reference to being at school.
“Individuals who engage in highly sexualised conversations with children are usually sent to prison. In the circumstances I believe it would better serve the public in the long term for the probation service to be rehabilitating you.”
Authorities had been alerted to a series of sexual messages exchanged in a chat room and Cheetham was arrested after a probe. An officer found photos and messages on his computer and phone as well as conversations on the Kick Messenger app.
281 category C images of children - made from 22 original images - were discovered with an extreme video of a dog.
The victims include a 14-year-old in the UK, with whom he exchanged 870 messages, and two American schoolgirls aged 14 and 15.
One was asked to take pictures up her skirt.