A grandfather who persuaded a vulnerable 12-year-old girl to send him explicit photographs of herself was jailed at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday.
David Brown got in touch with the girl via an app connected with Facebook and went on to ask for a topless photograph.
Robert Underwood, prosecuting, said that Brown responded by sending her a message saying “Nice. Keep showing your boobs”.
He then persuaded her to send him another explicit photograph of herself and asked if she would perform a sex act, but she told him he would have to wait until she returned home from school.
Mr Underwood said Brown’s activities came to light after a friend of the girl saw the exchange of messages and showed them to her mother.
The mother took screen shots of the messages and contacted the girl’s school. Police became involved and officers and the messages were traced back to a computer at Brown’s workplace.
Mr Underwood told the court: “The defendant was interviewed. He said he had been told that the girl was 19 and was a teaching assistant. The girl said there had been no mention of her age.
“He denied any interest in children and denied getting any sexual gratification from what he was doing.”
Mr Underwood said the girl involved has learning difficulties and operates at the level of an eight-year-old rather than her chronological age of 12.
Brown, 55, of Marshall’s Rise, Gainsborough, admitted a charge of causing or inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity in December 2016.
He was jailed for four years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life. He was also given a five year sexual harm prevention order.
Recorder William Harbage QC, passing sentence, told him: “It is quite clear that you took advantage of her. You knew exactly what you were doing.”
George Wills, in mitigation, said that what happened was an isolated incident.
“He says it was simply a moment of utter madness.
“Since these offences came before the courts he has not been able to live at his family home and has been sofa surfing between addresses.
“This is going to have a destructive impact on his life and on his family. His partner is financially dependent on him and is going to lose the family home. His mother is elderly and has no-one else to look after her. The effect will be far reaching.”