A man who sent sexual images to a girl he believed to be 12 in a chatroom and on Snapchat has been given a three-year community order.

Mohammad Yaqoob, 22, was convicted of the offences at magistrates' court on April 27 of this year, where he pleaded guilty.

Yaqoob was caught by an undercover operative working to combat online child sex exploitation, who had created an account for an online chatroom which did not permit under 18s, but did not have any age verification systems.

On May 12, 2022, the account received a private message from the defendant and after the two spoke for a while, Yaqoob asked how old she was, to which she replied she was 12 and from Durham.

Prosecuting, Hannah Forsythe said upon hearing this information, Yaqoob started an explicit chat and sent her sexual pictures.

He was then asked to add her on Snapchat and a request was received straight away.

Yaqoob then asked the girl for a picture and received an image of a 12-year-old girl in a green vest and shorts.

He then sent her sexually explicit pictures of himself.

The Snapchat account was traced to an address in Park View, Brierfield. Officers attended and arrested Yaqoob in July.

His bedroom was found to match the background of the videos sent.

During a police interview, he read a prepared statement where he accepted sending the messages but denied having a sexual attraction towards children..

Mitigating, Elliott Steele said his client's position was there is no sensible explanation for his offending, and that his mental health has been "severely affected by these proceedings."

Mr Steele said Yaqoob had taken a "significant step" by stopping watching pornography, and though he has suffered family shame as a result of these proceedings, his family are beginning to be receptive to him.

Sentencing, Recorder David Temkin said: "You denied sexual attraction to children. You said you did not believe the individual was under 16, clearly that position was abandoned when you entered your guilty pleas.

"Your family is ashamed of you and rightly so. I note there is nobody is this court here to support you."

Recorder Temkin handed Yaqoob a community order of three years, concurrent on both offences.

Yaqoob will be subject to 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days, a sex offender treatment programme for 40 days, and was fined £250 to be paid within five months.

He will also be subject to notification requirements for five years.