A man who sent sexual messages to someone he believed was a 14-year-old girl was caught in a trap, Lincoln Crown Court was told.
David Maltby made contact with the “girl” on a dating site and quickly turned their conversations to sex.
Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said: “Initially the chat was through the dating site, but Maltby asked to switch to WhatsApp.
“He asked if she had any crop tops, and then asked if she’d had sex. That was just eight messages into their conversation.
“She said she was only 14 and had never had a boyfriend. He asked her if there was any sex stuff she wanted to know about and asked her to keep the conversation private.”
Maltby went on to suggest she should look at pornography. He then made further sexual suggestions to her and sent her an indecent photo of a girl.
Mr Jones told the court that the “14 year old girl” turned out to be an adult woman posing as a teenage girl to catch out paedophiles. She contacted police, leading to Maltby’s arrest.
David Maltby, 21, of Redthorne Close, Spalding, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.
He also admitted two charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity. The charges related to the period between June 6 and 19, 2019.
Maltby was given a two year community order with a three month electronically monitored night time curfew. He was ordered to complete a sex offenders’ rehabilitation programme and placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years and given a sexual harm prevention order for five years.
Catherine Picardo, in mitigation, said Maltby has learning difficulties and left school without any GCSEs.
She said Maltby had contacted a decoy rather than a genuine 14-year-old girl and she added: “He has a very supportive family.”