A 44-year-old Geraldton man is behind bars after admitting to sending explicit videos and images of himself to an undercover police officer pretending to be a teenage girl online. Darren John Ryan was on Monday sentenced to 18 months prison on charges of using electronic communication with the intent of exposing a child to indecent matter and procuring a child to engage in sexual activity. Geraldton District Court was told Ryan on December 4, 2020 started a Facebook Messenger exchange with a covert officer, who at the time told the man they were a 14-year-old girl. Several messages sent by Ryan on December 15 were read in court, with the man telling the officer’s covert persona they had a “sexy body” and asking for nude photos. Ryan sent 10 explicit images of himself and two videos of him performing an indecent act to the person he believed to be a teenager and asked: “Am I going to get in trouble for this?” He also posted his address in the chat and asked the officer — whom he still believed to be a 14-year-old girl — what she was doing during the school holidays. Geraldton Detectives later arrested Ryan in his Utakarra home, where he was babysitting several children. It is understood he was communicating with the covert officer up until his arrest. Defence counsel Xavier Sellathambu said Ryan had consumed between $300 and $400 worth of methamphetamine on the morning of the offending and “had no control over his emotions”. Ryan’s charges relate to the abuse of someone under the age of 16, but Mr Sellathambu said “no actual corruption” of a child had occurred in this case. He said Ryan had not pretended to be a younger man and had made “no demands”, only “open requests” for explicit images in the online chat. Mr Sellathambu said Ryan was “deeply embarrassed” and “ashamed” of his actions, but Judge Christopher Stevenson said this did not equate to “genuine remorse”. “He was caught red-handed, he had no choice but to plead guilty,” Mr Stevenson said. “I am not satisfied there is any evidence of genuine remorse.” Ryan must serve at least nine months of his 18-month sentence.