A convicted paedophile who sent 250,000 messages to young boys targeted potential victims in Wigan and Leigh, police have confirmed.
Nigel Delaney, 65, is starting a 12-year jail sentence, imposed at Burnley Crown Court, for breaching a sexual harm prevention order and other child sex offences.
He was arrested after being pulled over by police while he had a 15-year-old Accrington boy in his car, on the M65 in April 2016.
Detectives say a check on his phone subsequently showed he had been contacting boys across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said Delaney messaged boys as far apart as Wigan, Leigh, Blackburn and Leeds.
Det Con Julie Potter said Delaney was an “an extremely dangerous and predatory paedophile”.