A depraved man from East Lancashire who has a "fetish for girls wetting the bed" was snared after talking to a police decoy on a chat application.

Sean Hall also sent explicit messages to children on the platform.

Hall, 41, of Huttock End Lane, Stacksteads, made contact with a police decoy account on an app named RandoChat, a service where you can anonymously talk and meet new people.

Burnley Crown Court, sitting at Burnley Magistrates' Court, heard how between July 2022 and February 2023, Hall messaged the decoy and two underage girls, with the messages being of a sexual nature.

Prosecuting, Eddison Flint told the court how on February 1, 2023, Lancashire Police's online child investigation team made contact with Hall under a 13-year-old decoy named 'Jaz'.

Hall introduced himself to the child decoy as a 40-year-old man called Steven, and asked the decoy to talk over Snapchat instead.

The court heard it was Hall who made the conversation sexual, talking about his genitals, asking her if she wet the bed as "this was a fetish of his" and said he wanted to "take her virginity".

He then asked her to send sexual images, but said she "had to be careful sending pictures" as there were "people out there who did not like men liking young girls".

This communication lasted for several months, with Hall sending sexual images, until he "got angry" and stopped replying as the decoy did not send him photos.

Lancashire Police continued their investigation and found the phone number attached to Hall's Snapchat account was a Pay-As-You-Go phone regularly topped up with money at the Post Office in Bacup.

They then identified Hall from this number and arrested him. When arrested he said "How did you find out?", then replied "no comment" at interview.

After his arrest, police searched Hall's phone and found messages from July 2022 on TikTok of a sexual nature to a real child, who was nine years old.

The court heard he asked the child if she was "single" and if she wanted to be his "girlfriend or wife", and if she wet the bed.

Police also found messages to a 10 year old girl on WhatsApp from October 2022.

In mitigation, Ashleigh Heyworth said that clerical errors in the court, Hall has already been in prison for more than a year.

She said: "He has had a psychiatric report of Borderline Personality Disorder, depression and learning difficulties.

"He accepts the prosecution's account and the responsibility of his actions.

"He was embarrassed to speak to the psychiatric assessor and feels ashamed for the effect on the victims." 

Hall pleaded guilty to multiple counts of attempting to engage sexual activity with a child and attempting a sexual communication with a child.

Judge Sara Dodd sentenced Hall to an extended custodial sentence of 10 years, with six in custody and four on licence, and issued a sexual harm prevention order for five years.

She said: "You believed one of your victims was a 13 year-old girl, but was actually an undercover police officer.

"You also have a previous conviction for the distribution of a very young child being seriously sexually abused.

"You say you are sorry and ashamed, and whilst it appears you have a mild learning disability, this is not linked to the offences. But I take that into effect of in your sentencing.

"Victim personal statements clearly set out that your conduct has caused both victims significant distress and fear, and in reality you have altered the way they live their lives and their wider families.

"I have no hesitation in concluding you are dangerous, and that you have a deep interest in young girls.

"You are not prepared to accept you have a sordid interest, and until you are prepared to address that you present a significant risk in further offending."