A HAMPSHIRE man who posed as a schoolgirl to encourage young boys to send him explicit photographs has pleaded guilty to 43 offences.

James Utting, of St Michael's Road, Aldershot, will appear before Winchester Crown Court for sentencing on June 5.

The 36-year-old man, who targeted children across the country, has pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing indecent images of young boys between June 7, 2016 and July 24, 2018. 

He has further admitted 116 offences to be taken into consideration. The alleged victims are all boys aged between eight and 16 from locations around the UK including Humberside, Grimsby, Sussex, Leeds, Bradford, Southampton, Wakefield, Barnsley and Sheffield.

The court will hear that Utting posed as a 15 year old girl to induce the boys to send him images over social media. 

On some occasions, he asked the victims to send more. If they refused, he threatened to share the images with their friends and family. 

The offences include: 

* Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity 

* Causing a child to watch or look at an image of sexual activity 

* Distributing an indecent image of a child 

* Possessing an indecent image of a child 

* Engaging in sexual communication with a child 

Utting has been remanded in custody until his appearance at Winchester Crown Court on June 5.