A man caught chatting sexually with a girl he believed was 12-years-old has avoided jail.

Mark McDevitt, 42, was instead talking to an adult posing as a child decoy between September and November 2022.

McDevitt sent intimate pictures and requested similar photographs from the girl who claimed to be from Aberdeen.

He also stated that he could teach her how to kiss and arranged to meet her in Glasgow.

Yesterday, McDevitt pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to attempting to cause a child to view a sexual image.

He also admitted attempting to communicate indecently with a child as well as intending to engage in unlawful sexual behaviour with a child or in the presence of one.

McDevitt as ordered to do 210 hours of unpaid work and tagged for eight months keeping him indoors between 7pm and 7am.

He was also put under supervision for 18 months and placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

The court heard that McDevitt, of Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, met the decoy who posed as a 12 year old girl named Darcy from Aberdeen on dating site Plenty of Fish.

The pair swapped mobile numbers and continued their conversation on WhatsApp.

McDevitt sent pictures of himself while the decoy replied with a photo of a young girl’s face.

He requested to meet the girl in Aberdeen or in Glasgow.

McDevitt asked if she had kissed a boy and said he would “show her one day but do not tell anyone.”

He then requested a naked picture of her before he sent images of adult women on the bed and asked her to re-enact them.

McDevitt also acknowledged the girl’s age in a message and stated that he would “help” her.

He then sent an intimate picture with text which said: “Maybe one day you will see it in the flesh.”

McDevitt requested to meet the girl in Glasgow on November 19 in the city centre’s George Square.

Prosecutor Emma Baker said: “Members of a vigilante group confronted him and livestreamed it on Facebook.”

The police were then contacted and McDevitt was arrested.

By Connor Gordon

Renfrewshire News Court Reporter

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