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It meant he was less likely to share mine because I would have shared his, too,’ says Beth.

Jon Brown, head of strategy at the NSPCC, says: ‘Children aged ten to 13 are now the biggest risk group because they are being given more sophisticated phones, without the maturity to handle sexting requests or knowing where a request is coming from.’For Beth’s 42-year-old mother Clare, the discovery that her daughter had been sexting came as a complete shock.

The sender could receive a police caution, or even end up on the sex offenders register.

Now 17, and studying dance and performing arts before taking up a university place next year, Beth, who lives near Stockport, Greater Manchester, admits her sexting phase was just that - something she grew out of.

‘Ninety-five per cent of sexting in this age group is never heard about.‘Teenagers have always wanted to explore their sexuality, and technology has simply enabled them to do it more easily. Adults, from pop stars to our MPs do it [Labour MP Simon Danczuk, 49, has been suspended by his party for ‘sexting’ a 17-year-old girl].’According to the Internet Watch Foundation, huge numbers of images are getting copied and shared.

Pictures of younger children - 7.5 per cent they find are children of 15 or under - are shared between paedophiles.

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