A SEXUAL deviant who sent naked pictures of himself to a 14-year-old girl was actually grooming an undercover police officer.

Stephen Johnson used a social media messaging app to contact the girl not realising that he was speaking directly to the officer.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 65-year-old sent the officer pictures of his genitals before asking her about her breast size and asking her to send nude pictures of herself.

Paul Cleasby, prosecuting, said the defendant sent a number of sexually explicit messages to his intended target despite her repeatedly telling him she was only 14 and offered to have sex with her in his camper van.

He said: "The defendant asked her for pictures and suggested that the less clothing she had on the better."

The Northern Echo: Stephen JohnsonStephen Johnson

Johnson, of Lynn Close, Ingleby Barwick, pleaded guilty to two charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity following his arrest on March 16.

David Lamb, in mitigation, said his client's mental health had suffered following the death of his wife five years ago.

Judge Chris Smith sentenced the defendant to two years in prison.

He said: "The officer warned you that she was younger than 18 and you replied that was fine."

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