A pensioner who thought he was sending pictures of his private parts to a 14-year-old girl was caught by paedophile hunters.
At Bolton Crown Court 75-year-old Donald Johnstone was jailed for six months after admitting to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.
Sentencing Johnstone, Recorder Rowena Goode told him: “It seems, even now, you have difficulty in grappling with the concept of how wrong the activity was.”
Daniel Calder, prosecuting, told how, in October last year, Johnstone was using a chat room on social media to communicate with someone, who informed him that she was aged 14.
In fact the girl was an adult belonging to an organisation called Justice 4 Kids.
Johnstone, of Corranstone Close, Horwich, quickly turned the conversation to sending sexually explict messages and, after obtaining a mobile number from her, sent her photographs of his genitals and requested she provide him with naked images of herself.
Johnstone then suggested they should meet for sex.
“He made repeated suggestions of the sexual activity they could engage in together,” said Mr Calder.
Justice 4 Kids informed police and, when arrested on October 22, Johnstone immediately admitted his guilt.
The court heard that Johnstone, who has been married for many years, has no previous convictions and had engaged in most of the communications via the family computer kept in the living room.
Sentencing Johnstone, Recorder Goode told him: “I accept that you did not target children — but you did not discriminate.
“Had there been a child there was significant potential harm to a child of 14 from communication of this nature and that is what the court is trying to protect children from.”
In addition to the jail term, Johnstone was placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years and a sexual harm prevention order was made restricting his access to the internet and preventing him having unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16.