Stephen Pocklington, who has been jailed before for crimes against children, made contact with girl over Messenger earlier this month, but was a decoy profile run by a paedophile hunter group.
Leeds Crown Court was told that the 50-year-old initially asked an innocuous question about liking chocolate, and when the profile responded making it clear she was just 12, he told her not to tell anyone.
It quickly turned sexual and over the course of two days, he encouraged her to masturbate and asked if he could perform sex acts on her, prosecutor Gareth Henderson-Moore said. He also asked for her phone number and when she would be alone, telling her it would be “their secret”.
The case was handed to another hunter group who then went to his home on Clifton Road, Sharlston Common, Wakefield. The court was told that Pocklington has five convictions for 17 offences, 12 of which are against children. He was jailed for 33 months in 2018 for multiple counts, including causing a child to watch sexual activity. He also attempted to pay a child for sexual services.
He was put on the sexual offender register and given a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).
For his latest offending, he admitted attempting to cause a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, breach of the SHPO and breach of the terms of the sex offender register.
Mitigating, Ian Cook told the court: “He understands his only real mitigation it entering his guilty pleas at an early opportunity and co-operating with the police investigation. He has expressed a willingness and desire to work with probation in the prison environment to get to the bottom of his offending that causes him great shame. He feels it is triggered by alcohol misuse.”
Jailing him for 32 months, and putting him on the sex offender register indefinitely, Judge Simon Phillips KC said: “It’s part of a clear pattern of offending behaviour. You pose a risk towards female children. This was determined sexualised behaviour towards what you thought was a young child.”