Here is this week's round-up of cases from Preston's courts.
Man had indecent images of children
A paedophile was found with a cache of vile child abuse images and a pornographic image involving a snake.
Stephen James Bateson also believed he was corresponding with two children online - but unknown to him he was speaking to an undercover police officer, Preston Crown Court was previously told.
The 30-year-old, of Bournesfield, Hoghton, Preston, has admitted attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, making and possessing indecent photographs of children, and possessing extreme pornography involving animals.
It is understood during the online conversations he suggested kissing, her placing her hands down his trousers and had enquired if she had photographs of herself ‘without clothes’.
His sentencing was adjourned and he is now expected to appear on March 15 instead.
Pervert caught by mum avoids prison
A paedophile who was brought to court after a quick-thinking mum turned detective on the internet has avoided an immediate jail term.
Rohan Sharma, 21, of Cottam Green, Cottam, was previously found guilty of inciting the woman’s 11-year-old daughter to engage in sexual activity.
Unknown to jurors, he had already pleaded guilty to possessing a string of indecent images of children.
Judge Beverley Lunt imposed a two-year jail term, suspended for two years, and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.
He was also given a five-year Sexual Harm prevention Order (SHPO) and must take part in a sex offender’s treatment programme.
Sharma had received indecent images of children on to his iPhone via the messaging application Kik, and downloaded them in July 2016 - on the same day he had messaged the youngster.
He had many explicit sexual images and videos of young, and sometimes very young girls, on his phone and iPad, as well as pictures of himself he had sent to the girl.
Preston Crown Court previously heard he was arrested after the horrified mum found the girl’s phone under her pillow, and spotted a string of notifications on an app called Whisper.
Sharma sent lewd messages asking the primary school pupil to meet up and perform an act upon him. He had also asked the youngster for pictures and sent her a bare-chested snap of himself.
The girl told him she was 11, but he wasn’t put off, wanting to find out where she lived and her school.
Police were unable to trace a suspect when the family first reported the matter, so the mum created her own profile on social media app Whisper, and waited to see if the person on her daughter’s phone would post any new pictures.
When she saw the same topless selfie Sharma sent to the girl had been uploaded on the site, she commented through the app: “Hot”.
He then sent her his “Snapchat” ID so they could have more contact.
This enabled the mum to get his name and give it to police.
‘Chocolate haul’ thief gets jailed
A sweet-toothed thief who stole 30 tubs of chocolate from a Preston supermarket has been jailed for 18 weeks.
David Michael Patrick McDermott, 36, of Rose Lane, Preston, admitted carrying out the thefts - amounting to £150 - between November and December last year at Morrisons.
The bench at Preston Magistrates’ Court said the offence was serious because he was funding a drugs habit, and that the theft was aggravated by his record of previous offending.
The court was told he was subject to a suspended jail term of 12 weeks suspended for 12 months imposed last October for other high value thefts from two Booths supermarkets - including a £529 haul of booze from Booths in Garstang.
Joshua Wood, 27, The Mead, Freckleton, near Preston, admits using a mobile phone while driving and must pay a £150 fine, £30 surcharge and £85 costs.
Dean Lancaster, 30, of Shaw Hill Street, Chorley, admits being drunk and disorderly and must pay a £193 fine, £30 surcharge and £85 costs.
William White, 43, of Crescent Avenue, Bolton, was jailed for 18 weeks after admitting burgling The Beauty Rooms in Barton Grange Hotel and must pay £100 compensation.
Anthony Nixon, 27, of Clanfield, Preston, was given a curfew and restraining order after he was found guilty of damaging a woman’s door, and must pay compensation of £250, an £85 surcharge and £150 costs.
Levar Moore,34, of Connaught Road, Preston, was discharged for 12 months after admitting possessing cannabis, and must pay a £20 surcharge and £85 costs.
Dean Egan, 30, of Wyresdale Crescent, Ribbleton, Preston, was given 80 hours unpaid work, a curfew and rehabilitation activity after admitting assaulting a man and must pay £50 compensation, an £85 surcharge and £85 costs.
Tracy Jamieson, 39, of Fylde Road, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, was discharged for 12 months after admitting stealing meat and must pay £160 compensation.
Mariusz Kujaninski, 37, of Ingleton Road, Preston, was found guilty of dropping litter and must pay a £220 fine, £30 surcharge and £85 costs.
Cameron Mears, 22, of Spruce Court, Salford, was jailed for 12 weeks after admitting theft from a Preston shop and must pay a £115 surcharge.
Toni Dugdale, 46, of Poppy Fields, Preston, was found guilty of dropping litter and must pay a £220 fine, £30 surcharge and £85 costs.