Man sent naked photo of himself to police officer posing as a young girl

Sam Fearn, 19, of Genesta Drive, Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds was given a suspended sentence at Ipswich Crown Court

David Johnson was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A 59-year-old Stowmarket man who sent a naked picture of himself to an undercover police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sentencing David Johnson, Recorder Jeremy Benson said: “You believed you were communicating with a 12-year-old girl and you made suggestions and encouraged her to take part in sexual activity.

“Fortunately the 12-year-old girl was a police officer."

He said that Johnson had resigned from his job and had split up from his wife as a result of the offence.

“Having been arrested you made full admissions and you do feel remorse and shame,” said the judge.

At an earlier hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, which was adjourned for a pre-sentence report, Johnson, of Edgecomb Road, Stowmarket, admitted attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity on March 17 last year.

He was given a 21-month prison sentence suspended for two years and a 35-day sex offenders' treatment programme.

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He was also given a 50-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay £1,500 costs and to pay a statutory victim surcharge

Johnson was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register.

The court heard that Johnson was arrested after he communicated online with an undercover police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl called ‘Daniella’.

During online conversations Johnson had given ‘Daniella’ explicit instructions on how to touch herself and had fantasised about having intercourse with her, said Brian Reece, prosecuting.

“It makes unpleasant and sordid reading,” said Mr Reece.

Johnson had also sent the person he thought was the schoolgirl a picture of his naked penis.

Jude Durr, for Johnson, said his client had expressed “real regret and remorse” for what he did and was ashamed and embarrassed.

He said he had no previous convictions and had sought help on a voluntary basis from the child protection charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.