Peter Martin, 44, now of HMP Altcourse, but formerly of Merton Bank Road, St. Helens, contacted a “decoy” who was posing as a teenager on the MeetMe website on August 29 and she told him she was 14 years old and he told her his age and asked for a photo.
A forklift driver offered to “pick up a McDonald’s” for what he believed was a 14-year-old girl, only to be caught in a “pedophile hunter’s sting.
The 44-year-old forklift driver turned up in Widnes with a fast food meal after making lewd demands through social media.
When asked why they should do this, Martin replied that it was because “it was good” – and he told her to delete the messages.
He also asked her to perform a sexual act on herself and suggested that they could meet for sexual activities.
Fiona McNeill, a Liverpool Crown Court prosecutor, said the conversation with “Chloe” went to WhatsApp and then to Instagram and “continued to sexualize”, with Martin “asking to see the girl’s panties” and get a pair of them.
They arranged to meet in Widnes on August 31.
Martin, a forklift driver and family man, offered to “pick up a McDonald’s” for the fictitious girl.
When he arrived with the food, he was confronted with the decoy and a group of men.
The police were called and arrested him.
He claimed that although the decoy said she was 14 years old, he thought she looked older.
During the interrogation he denied any intention to commit sexual acts and maintained this denial even when confronted with the content of the messages.
A few days later, on September 2, Martin pleaded guilty in the North Cheshire District Court to attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 for sexual activities and to arrange a meeting with a child for sexual activities.
Ms McNeill said Martin had no criminal record.
Mr Jones said that Martin told him that he was “really ashamed and disgusted” by his actions and that he realized that his life “will not be the life he knows”.
He urged Judge Anil Murray to review the defendant’s admissions of guilt along with the precedent of the Privett appeal court case and cases involving fictitious victims, and to consider the prospect of a suspended sentence.
Keith Jones, the defense attorney, said that Martin’s mother had died, and although he did not try to “downplay” the crimes, he argued that it was “an explanation for why he behaved in this way”, which he described as “completely atypical”.