A Rushden paedophile incited two young girls to engage in sexual activity – but has been spared jail because he committed the crimes when he was 17.
Lee Harman, 22, of Harborough Road, Rushden, was arrested in September 2010 after the mother of one of the girls found he had been contacting her daughter via an MSN account and encouraging her to use the web camera.
It was then another two-and-half-years before Harman’s computer was seized and hundreds of indecent images of children were found on it.
Following a further delay of another two years, the case was sent to Northampton Crown Court.
Judge Lynn Tayton said she was “astonished” it had taken so long for the case to be dealt with.
Harman appeared at Northampton Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to a string of charges, including inciting two young girls to engage in sexual activity.
The court heard that Harman had 546 indecent images of children on his computer, including 93 in the most serious category.
He was also charged with distributing indecent images of children between August and September 2011.
Judge Tayton said Harman had escaped a prison sentence due to the fact the two most serious charges of inciting the girls to engage in sexual activity had happened when he was 17 years old.
She said: “It has been four-and-a-half years since these offences were committed. A quarter of your life has gone by.”
Judge Tayton sentenced Harman to 36 months supervision including completing the sex offenders treatment programme.
He must also complete 180 hours unpaid work and will be on the sex offenders register for the next five years.