A REGISTERED sex offender is back behind bars after police set up a sting operation that saw officers pretend to be an 11-year-old girl.

Tony Martin Jon Small was arrested following information he had been communicating with a decoy 11-year-old girl – and breaching his court order.

The messages were sexual and explicit in nature and were passed to officers who arrested the 40-year-old in Peterlee on April 28 this year.

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Following a 24-hour investigation by Peterlee CID, Small, of Old Elvet, Durham was charged with incitement and breach of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

He was remanded into custody and pleaded guilty to all charges in court on Wednesday (May 4).

Small will be sentenced on June 1.

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