A pervert who unwittingly sent a picture of his genitals to an undercover police officer has walked free from court.

Deano Addinall started chatting online to someone he believed was a 12-year-old boy before moving the conversation on to a more secure network where it quickly became highly sexualised.

The 53-year-old then asked the ‘boy’ to send him a sexually explicit image after sending him one of his genitals.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the depraved conversation took place on October 13 last year.

Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting, said the undercover police officer made it clear from the outset that the decoy was a 12-year-old boy before the defendant engaged him in the online chat.

He said: “He sent a picture top the undercover officer of his erect *****. The defendant then asked for a picture of the young man and was sent one but he asked for a more explicit one.”

Addinall, of Stump Cross, Guisborough, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, urged the judge to spare his client from immediate custody and allow him to take part in sex offender management programme.

Recorder Aisha Wadoodi agreed that a short custodial sentence would not benefit the defendant as he would not be able to access a sex offender management programme.

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

Black Friday Sale! 🌟 Grab our digital subscription for just £6 for 6 months. Limited time only!  Click here

She added: “You began communicating with what you thought was a 12-year-old boy who was in fact an undercover police officer.

“The timescale was all in one day when you were involved in that conversation – this was a very sexually explicit conversation.”

Addinall was sentenced to 12 months in custody suspended for 18 months and ordered to attend 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days to address his offending and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

The defendant was also made subject to a ten-year sexual harm prevention order and told to sign on the sex offenders’ register for the same period of time.