A man was caught in a sting set up by a group of paedophile hunters after contacting what he believed to be 12-year-old girls over the internet, Lincoln Crown Court was told.
Jack Payne initially made contact with the girls via an app not realising that “Katie” and “Madison” were actually adults who had set up decoy accounts aimed at trapping paedophiles.
Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said that Payne used his real name and told the “girls” he was 20. When he was told the girls were only 12-years-old he was not put off and continued to chat with them and ask for photos.
Payne asked one of them if she would be his girlfriend but she told him she was too young.
Miss Rose told the court: “His response to that was to tell her that she was not too young and that a 12-year-old could have a 20-year-old boyfriend.”
Payne went on to ask the girls whether they would have sex with him and requested “sexy photos”.
He discussed having sex with them and also sent photos of his penis.
Miss Rose said: “The defendant had provided an image of himself and his phone number. The paedophile hunters were able to track him down and attended at his address.
“This was live-streamed. The police then attended the defendant’s address.”
When officers spoke to Payne at his home he confessed to having sex chats with 12-year-old girls.
Payne, 20, of Algitha Road, Skegness, admitted two charges of attempting to have sexual communication with a child and three charges of attempting to cause or incite a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity. The offences took place in July this year
He was jailed for two years and given a 10 year sexual harm prevention order. He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
David Eager, in mitigation, said Payne has learning difficulties and suffers from a number of conditions including autism but had not been taking his medication.
Mr Eager said: “This is a young man who has personality and educational difficulties.
“The victims were fictional. It was an organisation setting out to entrap and target individuals.
“However the defendant has only himself to blame for getting caught in that net.”