A father who met a 13-year-old girl for sex has been jailed after he was caught out by online paedophile hunters.
Anthony Morgan, 51, from Shiremoor in North Tyneside, arranged to meet the teen for sex after chatting to her on messaging platform, Whatsapp.
Morgan, who is married, demanded explicit photos from the underage girl and wrote it would be a ‘waste of time’ meeting unless there was ‘something on offer’.
However, when he arrived in Newcastle city centre at the arranged time and place, he was greeted by members of Dark Justice, a group who trawl the web for sex offenders.
When the vigilante group, who had snared Morgan with a fake profile, approached him with a camera, he told them: ‘I am talking to my wife if you don’t mind’.
Morgan was later arrested by police and jailed for 21 months, after admitting to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, at Newcastle Crown Court.
Prosecutor David Lamb said: ‘Their conversations were examined. The Crown say there is a clear pattern of sexual grooming in conversations between the two of them.
‘Following his arrest, he was searched and, while in police custody, a condom was removed by the police from his wallet.’
Judge Amanda Rippon ordered Morgan to sign the sexoffenders register for ten years.
He must also abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for life.
Sentencing, Judge Rippon said: ‘Although this is an attempt because the girl was not real,you actually travelled to meet her and if she had been real I have no doubt, having read every single word of the chat logs, you would have committed a sexual offence against her.
‘You made it plain it would have been a waste of your time unless something sexual was forthcoming.’
Jonathan Devlin, defending, said Morgan has family commitments which include him being carer for his adult son. He has no previous history of sexual offending.