A man from Rossendale told who he thought was a 12-year-old boy that he would "look fit in his school uniform".

Stefan Warburton, 31, of Knowl Meadow, Helmshore, appeared at Burnley Crown Court after police attended his home address two years ago.

At 7pm on September 29, 2021, a police officer from West Yorkshire Police sent Warburton a friend request from a decoy profile of a 12-year-old boy.

Prosecuting, Lisa Worsley told the court the police officer had found Warburton's Facebook page from a UK 'gay group'.

A conversation between them both started, where the decoy first told Warburton his age was 12.

After a period of back and forth conversation, on Tuesday, October 12, Warburton told the decoy "I bet you look fit in your school uniform", and proceeded to send the 'boy' topless pictures of himself.

He also told the decoy, "I want to see you in the shower".

Police attended Warburton's address in Rossendale on Friday, November 5, 2021, where they seized his Samsung mobile phone.

On investigation, they found Warburton had also been sent indecent images of children from someone on Snapchat.

In mitigation, Kristian Cavanagh told the court Warburton co-operated with the police at the earliest stage, and admitted he had an attraction to children.

He said: "Given the passage of time since this incident, and his lack of offending in that time, there is chance for him to be rehabilitated.

"He also lives with his grandparents, who he is the main carer for, especially as his grandad has just had a stroke."

Warburton, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent photos of a child, and one of being an adult attempting indecent communication with a child.

Judge Daniel Prowse sentenced Warburton to 12 months in custody, suspended for two years.

He said: "I accept that you know you have a problem and are wanting help for it as you are of previous good character.

"But you believed you were speaking to a 12-year-old school boy, and said you wanted to see him in a uniform and have a go on his penis. 

"You have been out of trouble for some time since this offence, and the main reason I consider a suspended sentence is your full co-operation with the police and your early guilty plea.

"You accepted you have an addiction to children which in turn reduces your risk, and an important factor in this case is that it was not an actual child."