A MAN convicted of attempting to persuade a 'teenager' to send nude photographs said medication for restless leg syndrome made him do it.

In June 2017, David Alexander Moore used online dating service Badoo to ask a 14-year-old to send him explicit images.

Although Moore was initially led to believe he was chatting to an adult, 'Hannah' told him clearly that she was 14 prior to his perverse request.

What the 40-year-old did not realise is that he was actually conversing with an undercover police officer posing as a child in order to snare paedophiles.

He was eventually arrested and went on to claim that side effects of medication and alcohol were to blame for behaviour described in court as uncharacteristic.

The father-of-two suffers from restless leg syndrome and was taking Ropinrole at the time of the offence, a drug which has a number of known side effects, including on rare occasions the ability to cause unusual urges.

On Tuesday, Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court heard that Moore had “lost everything” as a result of his actions.

Neil Hodgson, mitigating, said: “He has accepted what he has done and he has been very foolish but had it not been for the medication, he would not have behaved in this way, having not behaved in such a way previously.

“He was married with two children and his wife is now in another relationship and he’s having problems seeing his children.

“He’s had the court hearing and the shame and is now living by himself – he is very, very remorseful.”

Mr Hodgson suggested that there had been other occasions where Moore had displayed unusual behaviour while taking Ropinrole, which is he is no longer prescribed.

As an example, he said that his client had also given up his job and taken out a loan of £20,000 in order to become a taxi driver, plunging himself into debt.

Magistrates, however, said there was not enough medical evidence submitted to support that claim so gave no credence to that line of defence.

Convicted of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, Moore - of Durham Road, Middlestone Moor in Spennymoor - was handed a 24 month community order and told to attend a course to help him address his behaviour and the possible consequences of it.

As well as signing the sex offenders register for the next five years he must also pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.

Police requested the imposition of a sexual harm prevention order that would allow them to monitor Moore’s online activities.

However,magistrates refused to implement one as he was deemed at low risk of reoffending by the probation service.