'Virtually housebound' Jarrow pensioner tried to entice girl, 13, into sexual activity
A pensioner who said he would attend a 13-year-old girl's school so they could have sex was snared by paedophile hunters.
Former merchant seaman Norman Kelly contacted the Facebook profile of a schoolgirl in 2018 and sent her sexually explicit messages over a period of ten months.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the now 77-year-old, who is virtually housebound, had used a fake name and claimed he was only 30 during the graphic online chats.
He was snared when Guardians of the North, an undercover organisation who pose as children online to expose adults looking for illegal contact, and had set up the fake teen profile, tracked down his address and told the police.
Prosecutor Andrew Walker told the court: "The defendant himself was using a false profile. He was portraying himself to be a 30-year-old individual called Jamie.
"During the discussions that took place via Facebook Messenger the defendant was told at the outset he was talking to and communicating with a 13-year-old girl."
Mr Walker said Kelly asked the girl a series of personal questions and added: "He then started to speak to the profile about having penetrative sex with her and did so in graphic detail.
"The response he received to those explicit messages from the profile was that she was 13 and she didn't know what sex was.
"That didn't deter the defendant."
The court heard Kelly asked the girl for pictures "in her underwear or naked" and encouraged her to perform a sex act on herself.
Mr Walker added: "He called her babe, my girl, he would ask her for pictures, ask about her underwear.
"He told her he loved her.
"He said he would have sex with her at school, said he would meet her and have sex with her."
The court heard despite what was said about having sex, there was never any formal arrangement for Kelly to actually meet the girl.
He was tracked down after Guardians of the North used a landline number he had given the girl to trace his home address.
Kelly, of no fixed address but is from Jarrow, admitted attempting to communicate with a child and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced him to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements.
He must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.
The court heard Kelly has significant health problems and has become "isolated and reclusive" while being virtually housebound for the last 15 years.
Judge Bindloss told him: "It is no excuse for your offending but it does reduce the risk you pose, given you are not able to get out and about."
Sam Faulks, defending, said Kelly relies on medication and lives with his brother, who helps with his care and their home was targeted and had eggs thrown at it once word spread about the allegations.
Mr Faulks added: "He was never going to leave his house to meet up with any child."