Corby carpenter sent sexual messages to person he thought was 13-year-old girl
He was in fact talking to an undercover police officer
A Corby carpenter who sent sexual messages to a person he believed was a 13-year-old girl has been spared from prison.
William Hosegood messaged the 'girl', who he thought was named Holly, over a three-month period last year after speaking to her on an online web chat.
The 36-year-old sent her lewd images of himself as well as inciting her to perform a sex act, a court heard.
But all along Hosegood, of Lake Drive on the Priors Hall estate, was speaking to an undercover police officer and he was later arrested.
Yesterday (Thursday) Northampton Crown Court heard the messages started "relatively innocently" before Hosegood "made his desires known to her" and that there may have been a "sense of entrapment".
But His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo told him: "You are an adult and you knew that you should have desisted, and you didn't."
The court heard Hosegood joined a web chat to meet other people and "cannot understand how it was that he became embroiled in this sequence of events".
Mitigating, Lawrence Henderson said Hosegood was "devastated" by his conduct.
Mr Henderson said the carpenter, who lost an eye in a nail gun accident, had taken steps to see a psychologist and was dealing with matters of low self-esteem.
He said: "He will not darken these courts' doors again."
Hosegood, who pleaded guilty to attempted sexual communication with a child, was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months.
Judge Mayo told him: "Your offending, although in one sense victimless, was persistent and that's what makes it serious."
Hosegood will be on the register for sex offenders for seven years, subject to a sexual harm prevention order for seven years, restricting his use of devices, and must take part in rehabilitation activities.