A SOUTHAMPTON man posed as a young teenage girl to talk to fellow paedophiles on Internet chat room sites, the city crown court heard.

Nathan Long was arrested after police had received a tip-off from computer giants Microsoft who provided details of an email account being used to download pornographic pictures of children.

They traced the information to a house in Southampton where Long immediately confessed he had been responsible. His computer and iPhone were then seized for analysis.

Long told investigators he had been using the site for up to two years after someone had sent him an image. He said he knew it was wrong but he continued.

He then went on to describe how he had posed as a 13-year-old girl to talk to older men, and had traded images.

Prosecutor Rachel Robert-son told the city crown court: “He had also discussed at various times the kidnap, rape and murder of children and encouraged others to act in that way.” He also claimed he had been abusing children but insisted it was all fantasy.

Long, 24, of Westwood Road, admitted 35 charges incorporating the possession and distribution of more than 850 still and moving images Recorder Nicholas Haggan QC jailed Long for two years. After his release he must attend a probation service run Internet sex offenders programme.

Long also received a sexual offenders prevention order to run indefinitely, was banned from working with children and placed on the sex offenders register.

In mitigation, Mark Florida-James described Long as a depressed and lonely man. “He is terrified of going to prison,” said Mr Florida-James. Long was of previous good character.