A father told who he thought was a 13-year-old girl he wanted to meet up for sex and asked her to call him "Daddy".

Matthew Semmens, 37, also sent pictures and videos of himself masturbating to the profile, which was purporting to be a teenager but was in fact a decoy account.

During the chats, he said he wished to drive from his home in Cardiff to her fictitious home in Gorseinon, Swansea, and told her he wanted to "meet up and f***".

The defendant was arrested when the messages were passed on to police but he initially claimed he was "indulging in a fantasy" but he later pleaded guilty to attempting to communicate with a child, attempting to cause a child to engage in or look at sexual activity, and attempting to meet a child.

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A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday heard Semmens contacted the decoy, named "Sophie" on July 24 but when she indicated she was only 13-years-old, he said: "Call me Daddy".

He immediately began asking her for pictures of herself and said: "Please sexy, I'll send a naughty one when I get home or we can meet up and f***".

The defendant said he "didn't mind" that she was 13-years-old and said "I wish I could see you sexy". He told her to come to Cardiff or he could travel to Gorseinon to see her.

Prosecutor Matthew Cobbe said between July 24 and July 27 Semmens sent a number of messages on Snapchat which included videos of himself masturbating. He also told her he wanted to have sex and oral sex with her, as well as asking her to perform a sexual act on herself.

Their conversations then moved to WhatsApp and he again told her he wanted to meet her. A number of dates were suggested but a meeting never came to fruition, with the defendant saying he had work commitments.

On August 4, Semmens messaged the decoy to say he was at a Tesco store in Gorseinon having arranged to meet her there. When the decoy asked him to identify himself, he messaged her to say he had left the store.

The defendant was later identified by his phone number and police visited his home in Round Wood, Llanedeyrn, and arrested him. He told them he "talks to lots of people" and admitted having conversations with the decoy.

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In mitigation, Andrew Taylor said his client was of previous good character and described his offending as unsophisticated compared to other paedophiles who would go to great length to avoid detection.

He added: "It's a sad case because he was in a relationship and had two children but after that relationship came to an end he became lonely, isolated and alienated. He became involved in searches on the internet to find some kind of sexual satisfaction or thrills but he looked for someone who was age inappropriate. He will have to live with these offences for the rest of his days."

Sentencing, Recorder Paul Lewis QC sentenced Semmens to three years imprisonment and made him subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

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