Pervert snared by paedophile hunters after bid to meet 'schoolgirls' in Sunderland
A pervert was snared by paedophile hunters after chatting to supposed underage girls over the internet before trying to blame his actions on hackers in Dubai.
David Nicholson believed he had been sending messages to 13-year-old and 15-year-old teens in July.
But Newcastle Crown Court heard that campaign group Dark Justice had set up fake profiles to expose adults looking for illegal contact with children.
Prosecutor Vincent Ward told the court the 45-year-old had spoken to the profiles about "kissing and cuddling".
When the youngest of the teen profiles asked him about having sex he replied "if you wanted to".
Nicholson was confronted by Dark Justice when he turned up to meet the 13-year-old at Roker Terrace, Sunderland.
He tells them in a video recorded conversation: "My internet has been hacked a few times."
Dark Justice ask him: "Who by?"
He replies: "People in Dubai."
"You are telling me people in Dubai are hacking your internet and talking to children?" Dark Justice ask.
"Maybe," Nicholson says.
Mr Ward told the court: "They made arrangements to meet at 1am.
"He arrived at the meeting place, which was on Roker Terrace, Sunderland, and two gentlemen from Dark Justice were there to meet him.
"He was detained by them."
The court heard Nicholson was arrested and police found 13 indecent images and three prohibited images of children on his phone.
Nicholson, of Gatacre Street, Blyth, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to two offences of attempting to communicate with children and possessing the banned images.
Mr Recorder Ben Nolan sentenced him to a community order for three years, with rehabilitation and programme requirements with five-year sex offender registration and a sexual harm prevention order.
The judge said Nicholson has an "unhealthy interest" in teenage girls and added: "I am prepared to avoid imposing what would be a relatively short custodial sentence so that the interests of the public can be better protected if you go on a sex offender treatment programme."