Divorced Hartlepool man arrested after sex chats with '14 year-old school girl'
A divorced man sent sexual messages to who he believed was a schoolgirl despite admitting he was old enough to be her dad.
Alex Anderson, 46, sent semi nude pictures of himself to someone he believed was a 14-year-old girl but was in fact an undercover police officer.
He told her he had “a dirty mind” and commented on her body in pictures sent to him, Teesside Crown Court heard.
In a group on the Kik messenger app, Anderson exchanged a number of risky messages with the undercover officer despite acknowledging he could get into trouble.
Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said: "He asked how old she was. He was told 14. He said he was way older than her that he was in his forties and old enough to be her dad.”
Miss Atkinson said there was a lot of general conversation including about his job and said he was divorced.
Anderson said he liked chatting but did not want someone knocking on his door with a camera.
Miss Atkinson said: "It’s quite clear that he was fully aware of online groups that were outing paedophiles that they were aimed at looking for men who in his words asked for stuff and arranged meets.”
She said conversation later became sexual with Anderson with him telling her chats could be deleted and he didn’t want to get into trouble.
Miss Atkinson added: “When the undercover officer replied about being in knickers the defendant replied ‘oh well I’d like to see that’.”
In another message he said: “I bet you look amazing starkers.”
After being arrested Anderson told police he had let himself down.
He pleaded guilty to attempted sexual communication with a child.
The court heard he did not have any similar previous convictions and had not tried to meet up with the person.
Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said Anderson, of Raby Square, Hartlepool, was willing to go on a sex offender treatment programme.
The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Paul Watson, told him: “It was disgraceful conduct and I suspect by now you know it.”
But he said he was satisfied the public interest could be served by suspending four months prison for 12 months.
Anderson was also ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work, rehabilitation days and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.