A teenage paedophile who gave young boys cigarettes and sweets in return for ‘sexual favours’ has been spared prison.

Stuart Anthony Tillotson, from Burnley, groomed his two pre-teen victims by gifting them treats before making them to expose themselves to him while he watched on and masturbated.

Preston Crown Court heard how Tillotson, who was aged 17 at the time, indecently assaulted the boys on several occasions – but was cleared by a jury of further counts of buggary, attempted buggary, gross indecency and indecent assault.

Sentencing him, Judge Andrew Woolman said there had been an element of grooming to Tillotson’s endeavours, given the offer of goods in exchange for ‘sexual favours.’

Judge Woolman said: “I have to sentence this defendant after a jury convicted him on counts one and five only – counts of indecent assault consisting of touching the naked bottoms of the two complainants whilst he masturbated himself.

“They are multi-incident counts which allege that this happened on at least five occasions, and I have to sentence on the basis that he was 17 when these offences occurred.

“It was a regular occurrence, and the defendant gave the boys, in my judgement, cigarettes and sweets in exchange for these sexual favours.”

Prosecuting the case, Richard Haworth outlined how there had been an element of planning and grooming to Tillotson’s attacks.

He said: “The inducement of cigarettes or sweets was referred to by both of the complainants – there was a similar modus operandi in terms of both.”

Tillotson, now aged 39, was of previous good character and has no other offences recorded against his name.

Judge Woolman continued: “In my judgement after trial, the sentence starting point is one year.

"The real question is whether it is appropriate to suspend that sentence, and I have come to the conclusion that I can.”

The Judge said that the defendant’s lack of convictions as an adult, the length of time it has taken for the case to come to court and the fact the defendant would not have received a custodial sentence had he been dealt with at the age of 17, meant he could step back from sending him straight to prison.

Tillotson, of Burnley, was jailed for one year, suspended for two years, with no further requirements.