Boys playing in field were approached by man who ‘offered cash for sex acts’

Prestons Sessions House court

Prestons Sessions House court

A man offered two young boys money to perform a sex act as they played in a field, a court has heard.

The mother of one of the boys became suspicious after the youngsters, aged 10 and 12, arrived home with a bucket of odds and ends from defendant Andrew Sherlock’s front garden.

He befriended them, offered them a cigarette and made a sexual comment towards one of the boys

Jurors at Preston’s Sessions House court were told one of the youngsters later confided in his older sister that the man had asked them to do ‘weird things’ on a previous occasion, when the two young friends had encountered him as they played together on a field.

Sherlock, 41, of Salmesbury Avenue, Bispham, denies two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Prosecuting, Jeremy Lasker said: “In August 2015, as they were playing together in fields close to where they lived – probably by chance – they came across the defendant who got into conversation with them

“He befriended them, offered them a cigarette and made a sexual comment towards one of the boys.”

It is alleged he then offered them £10 to perform a sex act on him. Mr Lasker added: “Later in summer 2015 the first boy had been out playing with his friend.

“They arrived home with a bucket full of bits and bobs including a penknife.

“The boy’s mother saw what they were carrying and wanted to know where they got it from.

“They told her a man who lived nearby was throwing it out and had said they could have it.”

The mum sent the boys’ older sister with the boys to check they could have the items and Sherlock told the girl they could.

But a short time later, one of the boys revealed the comments he had made on a previous occasion in the field. The boy’s mother contacted police and an investigation was launched.

The court heard in interview Sherlock admitted he had seen the boys in the field and had said they could have the items from his garden.

He added: “I told them not to come to the house – when you are my age you don’t want two young lads knocking on your door. It looks like you’re a paedo.”

(Proceeding)