A teenage boy has admitted a string of child sex offences after he was caught sharing indecent images of schoolgirls.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pressured girls as young as 12 into sending explicit photos via messaging app Snapchat.
He used ‘sophisticated’ methods to cover his tracks, hiding the images within a seemingly innocent app on his phone, Blackpool Youth Court heard.
District Judge Jeff Brailsford heard the boy incited the girls to take indecent photographs and videos of themselves, telling one that he would hurt her mother if she refused.
Although images and video sent via Snapchat are timed to disappear within seconds of being viewed by the recipient, he used a computer app to save them.
The schoolboy, from South Shore, targeted younger pupils at his high school, which The Gazette has chosen not to name.
His parents listened in court as the Crown Prosecutor revealed how their son persuaded the young girls to perform explicit sex acts for him.
He pleaded guilty to two offences inciting underage girls to send him indecent pictures of themselves performing sex acts so that he could distribute them.
He also admitted inciting a girl under 13 to perform a sex act and distributing indecent photographs. He also pleaded guilty to making indecent images of children.
Malcolm Isherwood, prosecuting, said the youth would bully and pester girls to take pictures of themselves.
When they succumbed to the demands of their school colleague he would then send the pictures to others.
“One girl was aged just 12. He repeatedly asked her to take pictures of her breasts and other body areas,” he said.
“After seven or eight requests by the defendant she agreed. He replied by sending her pictures of his private parts. His victims thought that by sending the pictures via Snapchat or Instagram they would disappear because the pictures’ life span could be timed out.
“But he used sophisticated software to make sure they were retained and were then hidden in an app which was a cover for the indecent images and videos. He would send the pictures to other people and threatened people who received them they could be arrested and in one case that he would hurt their mother.
“There is a worrying history to this case as this defendant had already had a police caution for a similar matter.”
The judge heard that the prosecution would be asking for a Sexual Harm Prevention Order against the 15-year-old who was investigated by police after one pupil complained to a teacher at the Blackpool school.
Brett Chappell, defending, said: “This is a traumatic case for everyone involved. My client accepts the Crown’s case in these matters.”
The judge ordered the Youth Offending Team to prepare reports on the teenager before he passes sentence.