A man who attempted to groom and sexually exploit children on social media has been jailed.
Ryan Howley, of Top O’The Close Road, Todmorden, was sentenced to three years behind bars and made to sign the sex offenders register after pleading guilty to the charges at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
The 21-year-old also received an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.
Between November 2014 and April 2015, Howley contacted children who were aged between 12 and 13 in the Rochdale and Todmorden areas using messaging on social media.
He was aware of the children’s age and sent them numerous sexual messages.
Howley inivted them to go shopping with him, or for a drive, and in one message asked a 12-year-old girl to send an indecent image of herself to him but she refused.
He continued to contact the victims even when they asked him to stop.
Howley also followed children down the street in his car and approached a 12-year-old girl asking her to have sex with him.
The children told their parents and police were alerted.
Howley was arrested in June last year by the Rochdale Sunrise Team.
Det Sgt Julianna Barker said: “Howley knew the girls were underage yet he continued to pursue them.
“I would like to commend them for doing the right thing telling their parents.
“Thanks to their bravery in supporting our investigation, we have been able to build a successful prosecution which has resulted in Howley being jailed
“We are committed to tackling child sexual exploitation in the area and protect our children.”