A pensioner sent videos of himself naked and performing sex acts to what he believed were girls aged 12 and 13.

John Tomlinson fell for fake profiles set up by an undercover police officer, telling them "I like 13-year-olds" and referring to his "grey undies" as he indulged in sordid online encounters.

Liverpool Crown Court was told the officer pretended to be a 13-year-old on a teen chat website and Tomlinson got in touch saying, “I like 13-year-olds. I have a camera.”

Tomlinson, who was then 72, said he was 69 and asked her to contact him via Skype, saying he was sitting in his “grey undies”.

 

Derek Jones, prosecuting said that during a half-hour chat on Skype Tomlinson sent a video of himself naked and pleasuring himself and asked her to send him a picture of herself naked.

A few days later, also in June last year, he used the same chat room to contact what he thought was a 12-year-old girl, though unknown to him it was the same officer, and he made the same comments about his age and sitting in his grey undies.

He asked her about what underwear she had on and sent her a video in which he was again naked and pleasuring himself.

Police consequently went to his Wallasey home on July 12 last year and seized his laptop.

Mr Jones said: “He accepted going on chat rooms but said it was just to chat to other people, especially since he became a widower.”

Mr Jones said that examination of Tomlinson's computer revealed he had had similar chats with three or four other girls but there were not charges relating to those conversations.

He was also found to have five indecent images of girls aged between three and 11, all in the lowest category of seriousness, on his computer.

There was no evidence of him searching for indecent images and those found appeared to be screen shots from chat room sites, the court was told.

 

Tomlinson, now 73, pleaded guilty to possessing the five indecent images and two charges of attempted sexual communication with a girl and two charges of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

When first quizzed by police he denied obtaining sexual gratification from the offences but when interviewed again this summer he admitted he did, said Mr Jones.

John Weate, defending, said Tomlinson, now of Bidston Road, Oxton , had no previous convictions and is “thoroughly ashamed that he finds himself before the court on matters such as this.”

He had worked and contributed to society all his life without any blemish on his character, Mr Weate said.

His wife, to whom he had been married for 52 years, died on New Year’s Eve 2017 after he had nursed her through an aggressive form of dementia.

Mr Weate said Tomlinson was not using that to excuse his behaviour.

His daughter-in-law died in May last year and the two bereavements “seemed to have had some impact on the way he conducted himself. Maybe in due course he will need to address those issues concerning bereavement and dealing with them in a proper and appropriate way.”

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Judge Rachel Smith sentenced him to a three-year community order with 30 days rehabilitation activities and imposed a three month curfew with a tag between 7 - 7 am.

She also imposed a five year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and he has to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

She told him that she took into account “the complex nature of your bereavement reaction” and his age.