A paedophile was caught out engaging in sexual chat with an undercover police officer posing as a teen.

Lloyd Stevenson from Thornton-Cleveleys messaged the girl, who he believed was a 13-year-old called Georgia, over a period of six months between April and October in 2018.

It was only after he was arrested that he was told the girl was actually an undercover detective.

The 26-year-old appeared for sentencing at Preston Crown Court yesterday (April 13) after pleading guilty to seven offences relating to him attempting to incite a girl to engage in sexual activity.

Prosecutor Charles Brown said: “On July 12, in 2018, he had sent her a picture of his genitals taken under the waistband of his shorts with explicit messages.

“The defendant continued to communicate with the child throughout August and September saying he wanted to get ‘naughty’ with her."

On a couple of occasions in September, Stephenson contacted the 'child', inciting her to engage in sexual activity.

He continued to speak in a sexual manner, asking about sexual experiences and encouraging her to perform sexual activities.

He also sent graphic photos of his genitals.

“On September 17, he told the child he was just about to have a walk and said ‘you are welcome to join me’. He was inviting her to join him on Skype which he said he had downloaded for her," added Mr Brown.

Despite the decoy reminding him that she was 13, he continued to discuss sex and encourage activities.

Stevenson was arrested at his parent’s home in Goldstone Drive on October 22 in 2018 but refused to comment when interviewed by detectives.

Defence barrister Virginia Hayton said Stevenson was communicating with his ex-girlfriend and they were ‘trying to work things through’.

“She hasn’t found anybody else that she feels the same about as the defendant,” Miss Hayton said.

“He continues to work, he has a full-time job and he is an intelligent young man who is thoroughly ashamed about these offences; it’s totally out of character.

“As a result of a road traffic collision he lost his leg; he wanted to join the armed forces. Then with his former partner they suffered a series of miscarriages around the time the offences occurred.

“He doesn’t seek to put forward any excuses, he is pragmatic, he wants help because he doesn’t understand why he did what he did. He sets himself out as someone who isn’t interested in children.

“He says he is incredibly sorry for the way he has behaved.”

Judge Beverley Lunt said that although Stevenson’s behaviour was ‘disgraceful and disgusting’ his communication with the ‘girl’ was ‘spasmodic’.

Sentencing him to two years in prison, suspended for two years, she said: “There is no victim and there is no possible reasonable explanation as to why it took 2.5 years to bring these charges to court.

“These conversations with an undercover police officer were not relentless or typical grooming. However the messages were disgraceful and disgusting to a right-minded person and you thought you were sending them to a 13-year-old girl.”

Stevenson was also given a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and must complete a sexual offender treatment programme.

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