A YOUTH football coach who posed as a teenage girl to lure boys into sending him compromising images of themselves is facing prison.

Daniel Burn – who coached children across Darlington – cloned the social media account of an unwitting young woman to encourage communication with young men, many underage.

Durham Crown Court heard Burn duped the youngsters into thinking they were corresponding with a young woman, with a view to encouraging sexual activity.

Several agreed to send compromising images, believing the woman would reciprocate if they did so.

Burn, 22, initially appeared at the court in April accused of a single count of causing or inciting a boy aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

As more information came to light, he was charged with a second similar offence, and admitted both at a court hearing in July.

He was subsequently remanded in custody as further allegations emerged.

Appearing via video link from nearby Durham Prison today (Wednesday, September 2), Burn admitted three more offences of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

All relate to boys aged 13 and were committed between December 2013 and May this year.

Parents of children coached by Burn were informed of the situation by the football club who suspended him as soon as allegations came to light, reporting him immediately to Durham County FA.

One parent said Burn had been a popular coach who regularly led trips and socialised with parents.

She said: “It came as a shock – he was a nice, friendly person.

“It’s absolutely disgusting that someone I know and had socialised with could do this.

“It’s sickening knowing we trusted him to look after our children – he’s probably ruined lives.”

Yesterday’s (Wednesday, Sept 2) hearing saw prosecutor Robin Turton attempt to put another three allegations to Burn, relating to boys aged 12, 13 and 15, plus two charges of engineering the interception of another’s social media account, in a schedule of offences to be ‘taken into consideration’.

Judge Christopher Prince told Burn that if he also admitted the extra five offences on the schedule it would result in a longer sentence.

He agreed to adjourn sentencing to allow Burn to discuss the offences with his representative, Stephen Constantine, who had submitted several character references on his behalf.

He told the defendant he was “obviously” going to face a custodial sentence and asked the prosecution to draw up an order curbing Burn’s use of the internet and forbidding him from communicating with anyone under 16.

He also ordered Burn – of Thompson Street West, Darlington - to register as a sex offender and remanded him in custody pending sentence.

John Topping, of Durham County FA, said the Darlington team Burn coached for had acted immediately and properly in reporting and suspending him.

The matter was escalated to the FA’s safeguarding children department.