A Baldock man has been sentenced to six months in prison after a court heard he set up a sexual online relationship with a 15-year-old girl, and secretly filmed a young woman in the shower.

Ashley Mynott appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Monday, pleading guilty to attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child and attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, along with a charge of voyeurism.

The 25-year-old from Weston Way in Baldock had previously appeared at Cambridge Crown Court in September 2016, when he received a community order for the making of indecent images of a child.

As part of this sentence he was required to attend Royston Police Station in December last year for a Polygraph test.

The court heard this latest conviction came as a result of that test.

In a conversation with an officer, Mynott said he might have images of a girl on his iPod – which was then examined. It became apparent he had been in contact with a young girl online and had engaged in conversations of a sexual nature with her.

Deputy Circuit Judge Graham Arran heard how Mynott had encouraged the girl – 10 years his junior – to perform oral sex on her boyfriend.

He had also sent the girl a picture of his penis, and asked for a picture of her exposed breasts in return, to which she obliged.

On examination of other electronic devices owned by Mynott a further 12 voyeuristic videos were found.

Filmed on a secret camera, these videos revealed Mynott had been filming a young woman in the bathroom as she showered, spanning a period from June 17, 2015, to November 22, 2016.

During a police interview Mynott admitted that he was “obsessed with sex.”

He was jailed for six months and told that when he is released on licence he will be under the supervision of the probation service.

In addition he was given a sexual harm prevention order which will closely monitor his use of computers and the internet. His name will be added to the sex offenders register for the next seven years.

An NSPCC spokesman for the East of England said: “Keeping young people safe online is the biggest child protection issue of our generation. We know that the internet was used to commit 49 child sexual offences in the Hertfordshire area last year, so the dangers are clear.

“It is vital that parents and carers talk to their children about staying safe in the digital world – whether it’s the importance of privacy settings, or the risks of sharing information with people you don’t know.

“It’s currently far too easy for adults to contact children online. The NSPCC wants to see a clear set of minimum standards that all social media companies will be held to account to, including clear community guidelines and bespoke accounts for under-18s.”

Online safety advice is available on the NSPCC’s Net Aware website or via the NSPCC and 02’s online safety helpline on 08088 005002.