A PREDATOR who preyed on a child by engaging in sexual activity with him has been put behind bars.

Finlay Stewart committed a series of child sex offences against the youngster, knowing that the victim was not aged 16 or over.

The now 23-year-old defendant was brought before Chester Crown Court on Tuesday, August 8, to be sentenced over eight sexual offences involving a minor.

He was handed an inevitable immediate prison sentence and ordered to sign the sex offender register for life.

Oliver King, prosecuting the case, told the court how Stewart was to be sentenced for carrying out five counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

He also admitted his role in sole counts of sexual communications with a child, possessing indecent images of children and possessing prohibited images of children.

The court heard how the defendant, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, intentionally communicated in a sexual manner with a boy under the age of 16.

Through their sexual conversations, Stewart asked the victim to supply an indecent image of himself, before these discussions led to physical sexual activity.

Police found six indecent images of children of the defendant’s devices, along with four prohibited images of children.

The latter are described as being ‘grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character’, such as concentrating on the genitalia of a child or show a sexual act involving a child.

Prohibited images cannot be photographs or photos which have been photoshopped. They are therefore sketches, paintings, cartoons or any other unreal ‘depiction’ of a person.

Stewart, of Cherry Tree Avenue in Lymm, entered guilty pleas to all charges and was sentenced by recorder Eric Lamb to three years in prison.

He was also made the subject of sex offender registration and notification requirements with the police and a sexual harm prevention order – both for an indefinite period.

In addition, the court approved an order to deprive the defendant of the devices seized by police and a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting or approaching the victim, again indefinitely.