A 43-year-old man watched as a 15-year-old he was talking to online took off her top, a court was told.
But according to his solicitor, Tomas Oddy of Bradley Road in Cowlinge had “no particular interest in young girls.”
Oddy met his victim, who called herself Millie, through an internet chat site last summer, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Thursday.
Despite becoming aware of her age, Oddy persisted with the contact and managed to obtain the girl’s mobile phone number and sending a string of what she described as “dirty messages”.
Oddy had watched as Millie bared her breasts, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.
During one of the online chats the girl told police she believed that Oddy was performing a sex act. She said that she thought Oddy was “a bit dodgy”, said Mr Crimp.
Mitigating, Edward Renvoize said Oddy, who admitted engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, had initially thought the girl was older, but when he found out her true age he still persisted.
It was an “enormous lapse of judgement” on his part, he said, and added: “There is no suggestion that he has any particular interest in young girls.” He claimed Oddy never had any intention of meeting Millie who, he said, had admitted similar online encounters with other men using the chat site.
Oddy was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months, ordered to pay £250 prosecution costs and to sign the sexual offenders’ register for the next 10 years.