May 2022

Blackburn man, 23, jailed for sending pictures of his penis to a child via Xbox

A “persistent” paedophile who groomed a 13-year-old boy via online gaming and sent him photos of his genitals has been jailed.

Ryan Curry, 23, of Derham Street, Blackburn, contacted the boy via an Xbox video game and sent him pictures of his penis.

He also asked his victim to film himself masturbating for his own sexual gratification, and has now been jailed.

Judge Darren Preston said his behaviour demonstrated “persistent and prolonged grooming”.

In a hearing at Preston’s Sessions House on Monday, the court was told how Curry had made contact with the teen via Xbox games, and had struck up a conversation with him.

The court heard the youngster had started behaving differently at home, refusing to go to school, and was constantly playing on his Xbox and his phone.

Prosecuting, Rosalind Scott-Bell said: “His mother noticed a difference in his behaviour which continued into 2019, and found messages on his phone that contained love hearts, which she originally thought were from a girl.

“However, she then found out the messages were from a boy and saw several of them which made suggestions the boys could play together and masturbate together.

“She also saw pictures sent from the defendant to her son.

“The boy’s mother managed to purchase a new SIM card for her son but the defendant was still able to contact him, sending pictures of his genitals.

“One message asked if he wanted a relationship, with another saying Curry wanted to have sex with the boy.”

The court was told the police became involved and the boy told officers he had exchanged images with Curry and they would talk over Xbox and WhatsApp about ‘general stuff’.

The victim said he initially felt grossed out by the images, but then thought it was fine, but now knew it was wrong.

Ms Scott-Bell continued: “On March 2, 2020, police went to the defendant’s home and he was arrested and interviewed, where he admitted contacting the boy but tried to insinuate it was the boy who had started the image exchange.”

Images were also found on the defendant’s mobile phone.

Curry was re-interviewed and gave no comment.

Sentencing Curry, Judge Darren Preston said: “You messaged the child encouraging him to masturbate and sent him images of male genitalia.

“This was persistent and prolonged and serious, so serious that his mother noticed changes in his behaviour.

“That’s what happens when people like you contact and groom young childen, their behaviour changes.

“You even tried to blame your victim suggesting it was him that started it which demonstrates an inability to take ownership for your own actions.”

Curry pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images, one count of possession of prohibited images, one count of engaging in sexual communications with a child and one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was jailed for 28 months and made subject to notification requirements and a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years