Paedophile posed as 16-year-old boy on teen dating app
- Credit: Archant
A convicted paedophile has been spared jail for a second time after trying to engage in sexual communication with a child.
Thomas Myhill, of Park Road, Grundisburgh, sent a photo of his erect penis to an online police decoy he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.
Myhill was already subject to a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) imposed in 2017.
The 31-year-old appeared in custody at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for breaching the order and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child between November 15 and February 23.
He admitted both counts at a plea and trial preparation hearing on April 7.
Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, said Myhill created an account on teen dating app MyLOL, claiming to be a 16-year-old boy, Tommy, from Brighton.
On November 16, he sent a message to the decoy and requested social media account details.
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On January 26, he contacted the decoy on Kik Messenger to say he was not a 16-year-old boy, but a 27-year-old builder from Nottingham.
Communication continued with the further exchange of details and photographs, including an image of Myhill's erect penis.
Miss Shirley said that, in February, there was "talk about what they would do if they ever met".
She said there was discussion of kissing and cuddling by Myhill, who also proposed "sex if you wanted to", and mentioned the possibility of staying in a hotel.
Miss Shirley said there was no evidence of any discussion about actual plans to meet up in the lead up to February 22, when Myhill sent his final message to inform the decoy that he "knew she was fake".
In August 2017, Myhill was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with a seven-year SHPO, for possessing indecent images of children.
Joanne Eley, mitigating, said Myhill made no arrangements to actually meet the decoy and stopped the communication of his own volition.
She said Myhill had been experiencing difficulties in his relationship and had a history of depression, adding: "He was lonely, but should have sought proper treatment instead of turning to this chatroom."
Ms Eley said Myhill had spent the equivalent of a six-month prison sentence on remand – in onerous conditions amid Covid-19 restrictions.
Recorder Jeremy Benson handed Myhill an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 150 hours of unpaid work, 35 days' rehabilitation activity requirement and a new 10-year SHPO.