Thomas Birks, 25, made contact with the fake profile – known as Lauren – and despite being told several times she was 13, he encouraged her to perform sex acts on herself
A pervert snared by a paedophile hunter after trying to persuade a ’13-year-old girl’ to perform sex acts on herself has avoided jail.
Thomas Birks, 25, made contact with the fake profile – known as Lauren – and despite being told several times she was just 13, he encouraged her to perform sex acts on herself for his own sexual gratification.
When the paedophile hunter posted a picture of the pervert online, Birks took an overdose.
But he was arrested a day after he was released from hospital.
Now Birks has been handed a two-year community order after a judge passed a sentence aimed at stopping him re-offending and assisting his rehabilitation.
Prosecutor Paul Spratt told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court that the fake profile of the 13-year-old girl was set up and posted online.
Birks made contact at 11.30pm on February 12 and engaged in a 26-minute conversation.
Mr Spratt said: ‘The defendant engaged in sexual communication almost immediately. He was told on a number of occasions she was only 13.
‘He was persistent. He encouraged the individual to commit sexual acts on herself for his gratification.’
The court heard Birks took an overdose after his picture was posted on the internet.
When the paedophile hunter posted a picture of the pervert online, Birks took an overdose
Birks made contact at 11.30pm on February 12 and engaged in a 26-minute conversation
He was arrested a day after being released from hospital.
Birks, of London Road in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite or cause a child to engage in sexual activity.
Heather Drew, mitigating, said the defendant is a vulnerable individual.
Ms Drew said: ‘The defendant has done all he possibly can to co-operate with the agencies. He has an appointment with alcohol services on May 2.’
As part of the community order Birks must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 25 days.
Birks has been handed a two-year community order after a judge passed a sentence at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court (pictured) aimed at stopping him re-offending
He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years and was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same period.
Judge Paul Glenn told Birks: ‘You engaged in communication with someone you believed was a 13-year-old girl. It was in fact an adult man, a self-styled paedophile hunter.
‘You were aware at an early stage the person was 13 – and that did not put you off.
‘The mitigation is sufficient that I can pass a sentence designed to stop you re-offending and assist your rehabilitation.’
Birks was ordered to pay £500 costs.