A BARNSLEY man has been jailed for 34 months after admitting offences committed against four underage girls he met on the internet.

Andrew Dawson, 28, of Garden House Close, Monk Bretton, was jailed on Thursday after pleading guilty to four counts of inciting child prostitution.

Dawson used various aliases to contact vulnerable young girls on Facebook and offered them money to try to entice them to engage in sexual activity with him.

He began contacting underage girls via the social networking site in April 2013 and went on to befriend three underage girls using aliases.

The third victim became concerned when he started sending her sexual messages and confided in her sister. The girls’ parents then contacted police and an investigation was launched.

While on police bail, he contacted a further 15-year-old girl victim in October 2014 who disclosed the messages to a learning mentor who contacted police.

Detectives established that Dawson had accessed the Facebook accounts in those alias names from his IP address and he was charged with four counts of inciting child prostitution.

Detective Inspector John Fitzgibbons said: "This was a painstaking investigation by my officers who established such evidence that Dawson had no option but to plead guilty to these offences.

"This man preyed on young girls on social networking sites, befriending them and trying to entice them into sexual activity with him.

"Thankfully, none of the girls met up with him. I would like to take this opportunity to remind young people to consider their safety online and never give out personal details or share intimate pictures."