PARENTS have been urged to speak to their children about who they are communicating with online.

The advice, from North Wales Police, comes after the sentencing of 18-year-old online sex predator Nathan Mainwaring, of Llys Maes Teg in Greenfield.

Mainwaring reached out to two female children online and engaged in highly sexualised communication with them - making degrading remarks and instructing them to commit sex acts.

He was 16 and 17 years of age at the time.

When his computer was examined, it became apparent by the programmes he had that the defendant had also been seeking to access stolen credit card details, as well as stealing passwords and hacking into other computers.

The court heard his attitude towards sex had been "warped" by access to "eye-wateringly graphic pornography."

Rhyl Journal: Nathan Mainwaring (NWP)Nathan Mainwaring (NWP) (Image: North Wales Police)

Following the sentencing, Ann Parry, Civilian Investigator for North Wales Police said: “Nathan Mainwaring is a dangerous predator who used online platforms to target vulnerable children and gain their trust to fulfil his own sexual desires.

“This case highlights just how important it is for children and their parents to know exactly who they are speaking to online.

“I commend the bravery of the victims and their families for having the courage to come forward to give their accounts.

“Finally, on behalf of North Wales Police, I am extremely grateful for the support offered by multiple UK police forces during the course of this investigation, who have shown that the police will leave no stone unturned when investigating those who seek to do harm to the most vulnerable members of our society.”

In passing sentence at Tuesday's hearing, Judge Rhys Rowlands told Mainwaring: "Although you were, and remain, a young man - it's plain you were very far from functioning as one would imagine an innocent 16-year-old to behave.

"You were behaving as a sexual predator, displaying a degree of sophistication far beyond your chronological years. It is truly depraved behaviour."

Overall, Mainwaring was handed a 42-month term of detention in a young offenders institute.