A ‘DIRTY minded’ pervert sent ‘disgusting’ sexual communications online to who he believed to be two underage boys, a court heard.

Aaron Holden, of Goldsmith Street in Barrow, began his offending on January 11 2024 by sexually communicating with a '12-year-old boy' who was instead an undercover police officer, Preston Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Daniel Bramhall said the defendant – aged 32 – used the website Chat Avenue and Snapchat to ask the child if he could see his genitals and whether he had seen any people having sexual intercourse before.

The court heard from mobile phone exchanges that the defendant also said: ‘I just want you naked in bed now’, ‘I just want this to be our secret as you are young’ and that he wanted to ‘kiss him on the lips in secret one day’.

Holden was arrested at his home address on January 23 as a result of his offending and placed on police bail.

The court heard officers seized several digital devices at the time of his arrest including an Apple iPhone which was found to contain several indecent images of children.

Mr Bramhall said the defendant had one Category A image, six Category B images and three Category C images.

The court was told Holden began sexually communicating once again on March 15 whilst on police bail.

Mr Bramhall said the defendant asked a '15-year-old boy; on Grindr about his sexuality before asking him to send him a picture of his face on WhatsApp, which he described as ‘cute’.

The court heard Holden then sent a series of sexual messages.

The prosecution told the court Holden would regularly delete the messages and tell them not to tell anyone about their conversations due to his age.

Holden was sentenced at Preston Crown Court on June 11 after pleading guilty to two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child and three other counts of making indecent images of children.

In mitigation, Charles Brown said: "This was internet offending. There was never any attempt of physical contact in real-time.

“He has no previous convictions and is a man of good character. There is an alternative punishment to imposing an immediate custodial sentence.”

His Honour Judge Simon Medland sentenced Holden to an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Before passing the sentence, he told Holden: “Children are not sexual objects. They are not there for the titillation of dirty minded people like yourself.

“Children are entitled to be left alone and not be made the subject of your sexual fantasies.

“The images you had in your possession are at a comparatively low level and you never took any steps to crystallise your disgusting conversations into a meeting with these people.”

As part of the suspended sentence order, Holden was required to complete 20 rehabilitation requirement days.

Judge Medland also made Holden the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and notification requirements as part of the sex offenders register for 10 years.