A man who sent sexually explicit images of himself to a woman he believed to be a 14-year-old girl has been warned that he will go to prison if he commits another offence.
John Hyde, 31, befriended the ‘girl’ on social media in summer of 2019 and began to engage her in sexualised conversations.
These conversations continued despite Hyde being told at the outset of his target’s apparent age. He later sent her several sexually explicit images purporting to be of himself.
Unbeknown to Hyde he was actually communicating with an adult woman acting on behalf of an on-line activist group seeking to expose sex offenders on line.
He was confronted at his home by members of the group on 25 August and was later arrested by Nottinghamshire Police.
When he was interviewed Hyde accepted that the messages had been sent from his Facebook account but claimed it must have been accessed by somebody else.
He later accepted what he had done and pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child.
Hyde, of Leybourne Drive, Bestwood, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday and was sentenced to 15 months in jail suspended for two years.
He was also banned form working with children for ten years and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order that will tightly limit his on-line activities for a period of five years.
Detective Constable David Hikin, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Hyde believed absolutely that he was in conversation with a 14-year-old girl when he sent the offending messages and pictures. He had absolutely no thought for her well-being and cared only in his own sexual gratification.
“The safeguarding of children and young people is a priority for Nottinghamshire Police and we continue to respond positively to information provided to us by other agencies and members of the public.
“This case was investigated thoroughly and I am pleased that Hyde has now been punished by the courts.”