A paedophile hunting group trapped man Stephen Booth, 55, into trying to groom under age girls online
The group created fake profiles of thirteen year old girls in internet chatrooms and Booth made contact with them, Gloucester crown court was told.
He encouraged the ‘girls’ to perform sex acts on themselves – and he did the same in front of his webcam , said prosecutor Alun Williams.
The paedophile group then confronted Booth about his perverted actions and called the police, he added.
Booth, formerly of Tewkebury, but now of Oakland Grove, Bromsgrove, pleaded guilty to four charges of attempting to engage in sexual communication with children in March/April of 2018.
He was sentenced by Recorder James Waddington QC to a three year community order with a 40 day programme requirement and thirty days of rehabilitation activities. He also ordered Booth to do 150 hours of unpaid community work and to pay costs of £340.
Booth was told he will be on the sex offender register for five years and will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.
The Recorder said the offences crossed the custody threshold and merited a two year jail term – but he believed it would be better for society if Booth was subject to a longer period of controls under a community order.
“I take into account that your case is now old, you are working and you are in a new relationship.
“Above all else I take into account the fact that in my judgement it is better not just for you but for everyone else if I make a community order. There will be an opportunity for people to work with you for three years in order to minimise the chances of you offending in this way again.”