A PERVERT engaged in a sex chat online with what he thought was a 12-year-old girl, not realising she was really a police officer.
Bolton Crown Court heard how David Lyons set up profiles social networks Chatty and Kik Messenger where, on October 14, 2019 he encountered ‘Evie’, a fake profile set up by an undercover officer from the West Midlands police organised crime group.
Rachel Shenton, prosecuting, said that Evie’s profile clearly stated that she was just 12, but on October 14 and 15 and November 27 30-year-old Lyons repeatedly encouraged her to have sexual conversations and even sent, unsolicited, pictures of his private parts to her.
“He asked Evie her age. He is told she is 12 and he almost immediately asked, ‘Got any pics?’, said Miss 
“The messages immediately became sexual.”
Police arrested Lyons, of Brocksby Chase, Bolton, on January 6 last year and he admitted using Chatty and Kik Messenger.
“He said he couldn’t recall the conversations because he was so drunk but accepted that it must have been him engaging with the officer,” said Miss Shenton.
A total of 12 of the most serious Category A indecent images of children, one showing a child under the age of five being abused, were also found on his mobile phone.
The court heard that Lyons is of previous good character and pleaded guilty to attempted sexual communication with a child, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act, attempting to incite sexual activity and possessing indecent images of children. Colin Buckle, defending, stressed: “At no stage did he intend to meet a child.”
He added that Lyons stopped contacting Evie of his own volition two months before his arrest and he has not offended since.
Mr Buckle stated that there was a background of alcoholic abuse in Lyons’ family when he was growing up.
“Unfortunately the defendant’s relationship with alcohol has gone the same way,” he said.
The Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh told Lyons that he could have been sent immediately to prison but would only serve 12 months, not giving a long time for him to participate in a sex offenders’ programme.
Instead Lyons was sentenced to a community order for three years with participation in a sexual offending programme and 45 days of rehabilitation activities.
He was placed on the sex offenders’ register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.
Judge Walsh told him: “In my judgement the public interest and the issue of future public protection is best addressed in this case by you being placed under probation supervision for the maximum permissible period.”