A pervert who had hundreds of indecent images of children on his computer asked a 14-year-old girl to strip naked in front of a web cam.
Andrew Snell, 42, told his victim he was 16 years old, Carlisle Crown Court heard.
The paedophile, of Fernbank Lane, Low Seaton, Workington, admitted four offences relating to the images and also attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual behaviour.
Brendan Burke, prosecuting, confirmed that police who examined Snell’s laptop and his phone found nearly 420 obscene images of children.
These included: 19 of the most serious Category A images – with nine of them moving images showing the rape or torture of children
Mr Burke outlined how the attempt to incite offence happened as the defendant spoke to a 14-year-old girl through Skype.
He said: “He was using the [false] name Liam Jones in his conversations with her he was purporting to be 16 years old.
“She told him she was 14.”
Snell began his interaction with the girl by complimenting her appearance, and asking whether she had a boyfriend.
“It became more sexualised,” said Mr Burke.
His obvious problem was that he did not look 16, as he claimed to be. So he claimed he had a problem with his webcam.
In the meantime, he asked her to appear naked before her camera. The evidence suggested the teenager did as he requested.
Passing sentence, Recorder Julie Clemitson noted that Snell had contacted a number of young girls, their ages ranging from 14 to 17, telling them he was of a similar age.
She said he had clearly searched for the indecent child images that were found on his devices, and that his attempt to incite the 14-year-old had been an escalation of his behaviour.
Referring to the child abuse images, the judge told Snell: “Each one of those images represents a child who was subject to abuse; a real human being who would have been damaged and harmed by that experience.
“Looking at such images further harms the victims of such abuse; and encourages more sexual abuse to satisfy the market for such images.”
The judge accepted that Snell had demonstrated genuine remorse.
Recorder Clemitson explained that with the defendant already having served the equivalent of an eight-month sentence, she felt the more constructive course was to impose a lengthy community order which would allow the Probation Service to work with him.
She imposed a three-year community order, with 40 days of rehabilitation. If he fails to co-operate with that work, he could be brought back to court and re-sentenced, she said.