Craig Burgin, of Stanwell Avenue, Wincobank, thought he was messaging a teenager by the name of “Jess” when he added the girl on Facebook and began sending explicit messages.
However, the young girl he was speaking with didn’t exist – he was talking to a vigilante sting group who were cataloguing his offending.
Sheffield Crown Court heard on Wednesday, November 17 how the 39-year-old quickly ramped up his messages into sending graphic images he had downloaded from the internet.
They included depictions of child and animal abuse.
Other communications included videos of him making pizza and trying to speak to ‘Jess’ on the phone.
When he was arrested, Burgin made no comment in interview but was “visibly upset” as officers showed him screenshots of the images and texts he had sent.
He later pleaded guilty to possessing prohibited images of children, extreme pornographic images, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and two counts of attempting to cause a child to look at an image of sexual activity.
Her Honour Judge Sarah Wright said in sentencing: “You sent ‘her’ some really disgusting images, and you requested images of her.
“I have read that you are ashamed and so you should be.
“I’ve read that there is a good prospect of rehabilitation. These offences cross the custody threshold, but I am going to suspend them.”
Burgin was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, and was handed a sexual harm prevention order for the next seven years.”