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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Preston man jailed for online sexual offences

A 66-year-old man has been jailed after having sexual conversations with people he believed were schoolgirls. 

Ian Hollinghurst (66) of Eldon Street, Preston, thought he was communicating online with two 13-year-old girls.

They were in fact, adult decoys.

It was when Hollinghurst arranged to meet up with one of the ‘girls’ that he was arrested and police found extreme pornographic images on his phone.

He appeared before a judge at Preston Crown Court for a sentencing hearing.

He had pleaded guilty to nine offences – attempting to engage in a sexual communication with a child, two charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in a sexual activity, attempting to engage in a sexual communication with a child for sexual gratification, arranging to meet a child for a sexual activity following a grooming online, making indecent photographs of a child, two offences of distributing an indecent photograph of a child and possession of extreme pornography.

Hollinghurst was jailed for five years and six months and made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 15 years.

Detective constable Sam Patel said: “Hollinghurst had the intention to groom and commit sexual offences against children.

“He elected trial, and it was only on the second day of his trial that he decided to plead guilty.

“We take offences of this nature extremely seriously so that children are protected from people who want to harm them. Hopefully the lengthy sentence handed to Hollinghurst will deter others from committing similar offences.”

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