June 2021: Paul was given 185 hours of unpaid work and put on the sex offenders’ register for a year.

An order was imposed banning him from forming any “association” with a person under 18 without the permission of social workers.

May 2021

Scots pervert snared after sending obscene photo to woman he thought was 13-year-old girl

A pervert was snared by a paedophile hunter group after he sent an obscene photo to a woman posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Subhojit Paul sent a photograph of an erect penis to the ‘youngster’ – whom he believed was called ‘Lauren’ – and said he wanted to meet her.

Despite being repeatedly told Lauren’s age, he told her “you look sexy” and asked her to be his “girlfriend”.

Paul, 36, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Wednesday and pled guilty to sending sexual messages and a sexual image to someone he believed was 13.

Fiscal depute Callum Thomson said Paul had been caught in a sting by a volunteer group who target men who groom children online.

Mr Thomson said the 40-strong group uses “decoys” who “purport to be children and await contact from individuals”.

The court heard a member of the group posted a fake profile under the name Lauren on various social media platforms including WhatsApp and Skout. The woman acting as the “decoy” posted a photo of herself made up to look younger.

Mr Thomson said Lauren was contacted in October 2019 on Skout by “Paul, 31, from Edinburgh” and she identified herself as a 13-year-old from Newcastle.

He said “Paul” then stated he was actually 14 and from Edinburgh, and asked if she wanted to meet as he would be in Newcastle.

The court was told “Paul” asked for the girl’s phone number, which the decoy provided, and he gave his own.

Mr Thomson said the online group used the number to identify Subhojit Paul through his Facebook profile.

Days later Paul messaged Lauren on WhatsApp and she again stated she was 13. Paul replied: “I know and I’m coming to meet you.”

Paul asked the fake girl if she liked chocolate, later adding: “I will bring some for you.”

Mr Thomson said Paul then told the girl he was 19, not 14, and asked her to send him photos of herself.

The prosecutor said Paul contacted her on November 5, asking if she was single. Told Lauren had never had a boyfriend, Paul replied: “Really? Love you.”

Lauren wrote back: “Yeah. Am only 13. Never had a boyfriend.”

Paul replied: “Be my girlfriend then. You look sexy.”

Paul later wrote: “You have nice boobs. What is your size?”

Told that was “private”, he messaged back: “Nice boobs.”

Paul then asked: “Can I kiss you please?”

Told Lauren had never kissed a boy before, Paul said: “Please kiss me then. I will kiss you in your boobs.”

Later that evening the court heard Paul sent Lauren a photo of an “erect penis” via Skout and asked if she’d seen one before. Mr Thomson added: “It did not show the accused’s face.”

Sheriff Adrian Cottam deferred sentence on Paul, of the city’s Corstorphine area, until next month for reports.