A middle-aged man who tried to meet up with a 12-year-old girl after sexually grooming her has been jailed for 15 months.
Kevin Faulkner had conversations via the internet with what he thought was a young girl. In fact, it was a police officer working undercover.
Preston Crown Court heard a meeting was arranged with someone he thought was called Vicky outside Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Union Club last August.
Faulkner drove there, but then headed home after being “spooked” by people he thought might be police.
He was later arrested. The 55 -year-old, of Saltash Road, Thornton, appeared for sentencing having earlier admitted a charge of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.
The court heard the chat room content between him and the undercover policeman had included references to sexual matters.
Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said the offence covered dates between March and August of last year.
Some excerpts of his conversation with ‘Vicky’ were read out in court. At one point, Faulkner had said: “I think you are starting to get interested in more grown up things.” .
Joe Hart, defending, said the defendant talked in a psychiatric report about being depressed and only being able to communicate with people via the internet.
“I submit that the communications were a refuge for the lonely and those unable to speak to people in real life,” he said.
Faulkner must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and was also given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.