A married dad who tried to meet a “12-year-old girl” in a retail park after sending sexual messages to online was snared by undercover police officers.
Martin Taylor, of Crompton Way, Bolton, started sending messages to a user named “Hollie” on anonymous random chat app Randochat.
The online conversations began in September last year, Bolton Crown Court heard.
On the user’s account, “Hollie” was clearly described as a 12-year-old girl who lived in Warrington but Taylor proceeded to chat in a sexual manner, the court heard.
The conversation moved onto another app, Snapchat, where Taylor said he would “corrupt her”, and sent her videos of him engaged in sexual activity and urged her to perform sex acts on herself.
He also said he would “love to see her in school uniform”.
Taylor suggested they meet up and suggested a hotel room.
The following month, on October 13, he arranged to meet her at Junction Nine Retail Park in Warrington, near the M62.
He told her he would be wearing boxer shorts with red hearts on them.
Bill Macintosh, prosecuting, said: “At 2.40pm police drove to the car park.
“They approached the defendant’s car.
“The defendant was found to be wearing red heart boxer shorts.
“He said he did not realise she was as young as 12 but knew she was of school age.”
The 51-year-old appeared in court to be sentenced after admitting attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, attempted sexual communication with a child, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to cause a child to watch sexual activity.
Taylor had never been in trouble with the law before, the court heard.
Bob Elias, defending, said Taylor’s life has now fallen apart.
He said: “This is a complete car crash for this defendant.
“He was middle-aged with no previous convictions with a wife and two children.
“He has accepted the grotesque horror of what he did.
“He has found custody particularly difficult.
“The defendant is someone of previous good character in his fifties, entering a prison as a sex offender cannot be overstated.”
Judge Tom Gilbart said it was a case where he had formed a “clear and settled intention” to carry out sexual offences by travelling to the location.
He jailed Taylor for three years and eight months.
He also placed him on the sex offenders register and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the rest of his life.
Greater Manchester Police has been approached for a custody picture of Taylor.