A PERVERT from Weymouth who believed he was sending sexual messages to schoolgirls has been jailed for five years following a sting operation by a group of paedophile hunters.

Martin Hunt had been exchanging sexual messages with who he believed were two underage girls - one of which he was told was just 12 years old.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard how Hunt, aged 40, of Ranelagh Road, had sent hardcore pornography to 'girls' known as Kirsty, aged 12, and 13-year-old Lou.

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Dorset Echo: Ranelagh Road. Picture: Dorset EchoRanelagh Road. Picture: Dorset Echo

They were in fact fake profiles being run by what the court described as 'paedophile hunters'.

During this period, the court heard how Hunt was in breach of a two-year suspended sentence and sexual harm prevention order after previously trying to engage in sexual communications with a child in 2020.

Hunt pleaded guilty to two attempts to engage in sexual communications with a child, one attempt to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, one attempt to cause a child to watch a sexual act, and one breach of a sexual harm prevention order - between September 15 and September 29 last year.

Dorset Echo: Martin Hunt, January 13. Picture: Dorset PoliceMartin Hunt, January 13. Picture: Dorset Police

Prosecutor, Christopher Wing said: "He was placed on a two-year suspended sentence and sexual harm prevention order for previously engaging in sexual communications with a child.

"He breached that order by acquiring a mobile phone, which he used to speak to two young girls - aliases being managed by a group of paedophile hunters."

Mr Wing said the group went to his address on October 3 last year and detained him until a police constable made the arrest.

He added: "He spoke to an alias known as ‘Kirsty’, aged 12. In the communication, he was asking about underwear, whether she had seen a penis, and asking if she had sex.

"The communication with 'Lou’ resulted in him asking for pictures of her vagina.

"He asked for photos of her and when one was sent of a picture of a girl on horse he then spoke about women having sex with horses as well as using a brush handle during sex."

Since his arrest, Hunt has been imprisoned at HMP Lewes.

Dorset Echo: Hunt was stung by paedophile hunters on October 3 last year in Ranelagh Road, WeymouthHunt was stung by paedophile hunters on October 3 last year in Ranelagh Road, Weymouth

Mitigating, Timothy Akers said: "These offences were committed over a short period of time.

"He did not deceive these profiles or lie about his age, or use another identification.

"He would describe himself as a lonely person who struggles to form interpersonal relationships with the outside world - and he committed these offences to give himself some sort of intimacy.

"He's motivated to take programmes in prison to assist him in his future.

"The images sent were of adults involved in sexual intercourse.

"He said he would never commit an offence against a child. He knows this isn’t normal behaviour."

Presiding over the case HHJ Stephen Climie said: "You were caught out by a group that trap people, who seek sexual activity with children online - all while you were under a suspended order.

"On more than one occasion you made, someone you believed to be underage, view online sex.

"I believe you pose a risk of serious psychological harm, I find you dangerous as you would seek to engage with children online."

Hunt was sentenced to five years in prison.

He will also serve a three-year licence period upon his release, where he will also serve a sexual prevention order for three years.

The judge said he will remain on the sex offenders register for a period that is not limited.