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Paedophile, 23, who used Fortnite to try and groom boys as young as seven jailed

A paedophile tried to groom boys as young as seven on popular video game Fortnite, a court heard.

Adam Syers, 23, allowed a 12-year-old boy spend £200 on his credit card and got the child to send him a photo of himself in shorts.

He then targeted a seven-year-old boy, asking him whether he wanted to go on a date with him and be his boyfriend.

Syers had previously walked free from court after filming a toddler and making vile sexual comments before posting the video on Facebook.

The paedophile – who recorded the sick clip from the window of his home – was banned from contacting underage boys on the internet.

But within hours of the order being put in place he was back online trying to snare children playing Fortnite and Roblox on Xbox, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Syers, aka Adam Shipley, was handed 10 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, on September 2.

He admitted sending an indecent communication after filming a mum and little boy walking down the street outside his then address in Orford, Warrington last May and saying he wanted “sex” with the child.

Magistrates gave Syers a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) – banning him from contacting boys online -and told him to comply with the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Register for the same period.

Later that day the pervert began communicating with a 12-year-old boy via Xbox Live, before their chats progressed onto Instagram.

The boy’s mum noticed a credit card on her son’s Xbox gaming account registered to AG Shipley and Tully Avenue – Syers’ new address – over a month later.

Louise McCloskey, prosecuting, said her son explained the card belonged to “Adam”, whom he had become friends with online.

The mum asked to chat to then 22-year-old Syers on the Xbox, who explained he let her son buy a game for £7.99.

He had actually allowed £200 of purchases, but claimed he wasn’t good with numbers, was autistic and considered her son to be a friend.

The boy revealed Syers asked him not to tell his parents and to send a picture of himself wearing shorts, which he did.

He said during chats Syers asked him to turn his camera on and sent messages saying he missed him and loved him.

Texts downloaded from the Xbox showed Syers asked him to play Fortnite and Roblox and join Xbox party chats.

Syers had also begun talking to a seven-year-old boy via Xbox Live and TikTok on September 6.

That child’s mum discovered a string of “inappropriate messages” between the two on October 5.

Syers gave the little boy his mobile number and asked “can I meet you?” before asking him to call and sending the message: “I love you.”

The mum investigated Syers’ account and found a picture of a man in his 20s and noted his TikTok was “full of videos of young boys, none more than 10-years-old”.

Syers had also failed to provide police with his personal details within the necessary period.

Officers found he had been accessing porn websites on his phone.

On Instagram he sent messages to a third unidentified boy – thought to be under 11 – who Syers denied knowing.

He admitted three counts of breaching his SHPO, failing to comply with notification requirements and breaching his suspended sentence.

Syers has a conviction for sexual assault on a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity from November 2012. He received a warning for this offence, when he was aged just 14.

Natalia Cornwall, defending, said Syers only had “himself to blame” for not taking the chance given to him last year.

She said he now accepted he had a “problem” and “a sexual interest in children”.

Ms Cornwall said Syers was immature and diagnosed with ADHD, autism, learning and speech difficulties, and struggled to put on weight because of stomach ulcers.

Judge Rachel Smith accepted Syers was himself a “vulnerable individual” and there was “some prospect of rehabilitation”.

However, she said: “Only immediate custody will follow for the range of offences that you have committed in this case.”

The judge said it was a “persistent breach risking serious harm” and jailed him for two years and eight months.

She made a new seven-year SHPO, told him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely, and ordered the destruction of his phone and Xbox.

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