AN 18-YEAR-OLD groomed schoolgirls through internet chat rooms before involving them in web-cam sex acts.

Blackburn magistrates heard three girls, aged 12, 13 and 14, had been identified as being involved in Darren Kenyon’s sordid activities.

They had all been encouraged to remove their clothes and Kenyon pleasured himself in full view of the girls.

Kenyon, of Carr Road, Darwen, pleaded guilty to three charges of inciting the girls to engage in sexual activity and three charges of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. He was committed on bail to Preston Crown Court for sentence.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Kenyon had met all the girls over the internet site Facebook and they had all been groomed before being encouraged to remove their tops.

“The offences came to light because one of the girls received a package from school about sexual predators on the internet,” said Miss Allan.

“That alerted her that she was being targeted by a sexual predator and the authorities were informed.”

Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, said the offences relaed to a time when Kenyon was a juvenile.

He said Kenyon had contacted people through Facebook in the same way as other people did when using a social network.

“He wasn’t looking for young girls,” said Mr Church-Taylor. “Unfortunately what happened next is one of the blights on our society and one of the failings of contact in this way.

“Things were said which would never have been said face to face,” said Mr Church-Taylor.

“This is someone who is immature, not appreciateing the social niceties because of the depersonalised contact over the internet. He has committed these offences in a less than real situation.”