A GRANDAD who had sexualised chats online with someone who he believed to be a 13-year-old schoolgirl has been told he is ‘on the cusp’ of jail.

Desmond Brown told the girl he had previously been in a relationship with a 15-year-old girl and discussed with her activity of a sexual nature.

But the 68-year-old was in fact talking to an undercover police officer under the guise of a fake profile.

He appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday for sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of engaging in sexual communications with a child.

But he was told that his sentencing hearing would be adjourned until next month to allow the court to read a report prepared by his psychotherapist.

Simon Duncan, prosecuting, explained how the police officer created an account on Chat Avenue posing as 13-year-old Bella from Exeter, while Brown had a username of ‘longhorn95’ with a photo of himself, claiming to be 55 and from Knutsford.

He initiated the conversation on August 8, 2019 and she told him she was 13 and that she was bored.

He told her he used to work as a joiner in a school and had previously dated a 15-year-old schoolgirl as a way to introduce a sexual element to conversation

The officer played along and asked if Brown had ever done any ‘naughty stuff’, to which he replied that they had had intimate contact.

Desmond Brown leaving Liverpool Crown Court

Desmond Brown leaving Liverpool Crown Court

Bella said his contact with the 15-year-old girl sounded ‘exciting’, to which he asked whether she wanted to try it.

After speaking on Kik – a platform which allows the exchange of photos – he tried to phone her but the officer declined the call.

Brown asked if she would send him a photo, but ‘nothing weird’, to try to verify if she was who she said she was, but this was avoided.

When he did not get any photos, he sent Kik messages telling her to stop chatting as it was too dangerous and told her to talk to someone her own age.

He said he was scared about people trying to trap others by pretending to be younger and asked again for photos, but none were provided.

Discussion turned to a meet-up, but no firm arrangements were made. He suggested picking her up and going for a drive as talk turned sexual, after which he told her to delete their chats.

The officer’s refusal to join a video chat ‘frightened him off’, and while Bella sent messages to try and entice him back into conversation, he did not respond.

Brown was traceable through electronic media and arrested at his home in Gairloch Close, Cinnamon Brow in October 2019.

His devices were seized and examined, but no evidence of illegal content or searches for illicit material was found.

During his police interview he confirmed that he had been using Chat Avenue as he was bored and thought he was chatting to an adult for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Liverpool Crown Court

Liverpool Crown Court

He said he has no sexual interest in children and that he made up the story about the relationship with the 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Mr Duncan revealed to the court that Brown was convicted of two counts of indecent assault on a woman and indecent exposure in 1981, for which he received a suspended sentence

Michael Davies, defending, explained how his client realised he had a problem and contacted a psychotherapist to ‘address possible causes of his offending’.

He referenced how Brown told her to stop chatting and to speak to someone her own age, and after that did not seek to speak to Bella, even after her attempts to contact him.

He added: “The defendant says this is the first time he has done this and there is no evidence from examining his computer to contradict this.”

Judge David Aubrey said he was minded to adjourn the case to consider a report prepared by Brown’s psychotherapist and that the case was ‘on the cusp’.

He added: “All sentencing options remain on the table, including immediate custody.”

Brown will appear back before the court next month for sentence.