Shrewsbury man who talked to '12-year-old' for sex acts spared immediate jail term
A Shrewsbury man who thought he was inciting a 12-year-old to engage in sexual activity was in fact talking to a police officer.
Ian Smith, 64, of Abbey Foregate, was given a 13-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work and pay £510 costs when he appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court.
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Telford Magistrates Court to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, and inciting a female child aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity, in relation to the incident on February 19 this year.
He also pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child under 16 in relation to an incident on February 5, 2019.
The court heard that, while in an online chat room for teenagers Smith asked ‘Jade’, who said she was 12, explicit questions. However he did not realise he was speaking to a police officer.
He then obtained her phone number called it continuing his explicit conversation.
When questioned by police he said he had been lured into a trap.
Mr Kevin Jones for Smith said his client had acted in a moment of madness and was horrified at what had happened.
He said his client had sought help from the Lucy Faith Foundation, a charity dedicated to preventing child sex abuse.
Smith was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and placed on sex offenders register.
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