Dad-of-two caught engaging in sex chat with decoy schoolgirl by undercover police officers
A “bored” pervert was snared by undercover cops after he engaged in sex chat with who he thought was a schoolgirl.
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Dean Johnson had never been in trouble before with the courts but found himself in custody after having the sexualised chats via the internet in April 2021.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the defendant began speaking to the decoy profile, who had the username ‘C’, but was actually an undercover operative, in an online chatroom.
Prosecutor Joe Culley said the site required users to be at least 18, however, the fake profile informed dad-of-two Johnson that she was underage.
The court heard the pair exchanged a number of messages which included Johnson sending rude emojis as well as asking for pictures of her in school uniform.
He also agreed to meet the decoy in person but later cancelled. Mr Culley added he also sent an image to her while he was in the bath.
The 37-year-old, of Warrington Grove, North Shields, North Tyneside, was eventually arrested and admitted his wrongdoing. He pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.
Judge Gavin Doig KC said: “You engaged in sexual communication with the decoy over a relatively extended period. There were multiple messages of a sexual nature.
“You were arrested in May 2021 and your devices were seized. You were interviewed on the day you were arrested and you accepted that the communication had been sexual.”
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However, the judge accepted he could draw back from immediate prison and sentenced Johnson to eight months suspended for two years with 3 rehabilitation days.
Fiona Lamb, defending, said that Johnson had been “bored” in the lead up to the offence but was of previous good character.
Ms Lamb added: “The delay has had a massive impact on his mental health. Sometimes it doesn’t affect people but in my submission this time it really has.”
Johnson was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to last for ten years.