Sheffield Crown Court heard on April 6 how Craig Brown, aged 38, of Lakeside Boulevard, near Lakeside Lake, Doncaster, admitted two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child after he communicated with police decoys who were pretending to be a 12-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy.
Jemima Stephenson, prosecuting, said: “The case concerns the defendant engaging in sexual conversations with two undercover police officers posing as 12 and 14-year-old boys on a Kik Messenger application.”
Brown, who has no previous convictions, was arrested at his home on March, 2021, after he committed the offences between October, 2020, and the beginning of 2021.
Defence barrister Amanda Denton said: “The offences themselves were fairly short-lived although the period is set out in the charges it relates to about seven or eight actual chats so it was not every day.”
Ms Denton added Brown has been chastened by the experience of being arrested and appearing at court and he wants to go back to leading the life of a normal good person.
Recorder Richard Wright QC told Brown: “Over a relatively short period of time in 2021 and 2020 you engaged in online conversations with two people you believed to be very young men or boys.
"It’s concerning you were registered on the chatroom through which you were communicating with them under a different name to your own name.
"You engaged in highly sexual conversation. You did that - when it was plain to you - when they were telling you they were under-aged and they were children.
"And of course, you didn’t know that they were police officers posing as children in those chatrooms.”
However, Recorder Wright acknowledged Brown is remorseful and that the offences were committed at a difficult time for the defendant when he had felt isolated.
Recorder Wright sentenced Brown to a two-year community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 180 hours of unpaid work.
Brown has also been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years and he was made subject to a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.