A PAEDOPHILE with an “unhealthy and deviant interest” in underage girls sent “vile and explicit” messages to who he thought was a 12-year-old girl.

Jonathan Strain, 37, of Treherbert Street in Cwmann, messaged the ‘girl’ – who was actually a decoy account run by a paedophile hunter group – over a period of around four months.

Swansea Crown Court heard that Strain initiated the conversation with ‘Hannah’ – who he thought was a 12-year-old from the Manchester area – on October 13, 2021, on an app called Wink.

The girl’s account included a picture of a child, and a Facebook account had also been created.

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“The defendant messaged Hannah ‘Hi, how are you doing?’,” prosecutor James Hartson said. “He was informed that although her profile said 18 years of age, she was in fact 12. The defendant asked if he was too old for her.”

Strain told the decoy that he was “looking for horny girls who want video call fun” and was looking for “trading of nude photographs and nude calls”.

The defendant said that he “fancied” the child, and asked if she would be his girlfriend and said they could do “girlfriend and boyfriend stuff with each other”.

“The defendant asked her if she had school the following day and told her not to tell her friends about him as they were a secret,” Mr Hartson said. Strain also instructed the ‘girl’ to delete their conversations from her phone.

He asked to video call her, and the decoy said their phone camera wasn’t working. Strain went on to ask for the girl’s phone number and messaged her on WhatsApp asking if she wanted to see a penis and asked if she thought about sex.

He then video called her, and showed her his penis, before calling the decoy again and filmed himself performing a sex act.

The court heard that Strain continued to ask the girl explicit questions, and encouraged her to perform a sex act on herself, and to send him a picture of her breasts. The decoy replied that she had to go to bed.

Over the next few months, Strain continued messaging the decoy asking to video call and suggesting to “play a game together”, as well as offering to buy the girl a phone with a working camera.

The information was passed on to a paedophile hunter group in Wales who went to the defendant’s address on March 6. Strain wasn’t in, and the information was passed to the police, who arrested him later that evening.

“In the police interview, he suggested that he had lost his mobile phone before these conversations took place,” Mr Hartson told the court.

Strain, who has no previous convictions, admitted the offences two weeks before he was due to stand trial.

Ian Ibrahim, defending, said: “He is shy. He is introverted. He doesn’t speak to anybody.

“He doesn’t go outside his home because of this.

“If he was in a pub, he would be on his own in the corner not talking to anybody.”

Mr Ibrahim said Strain had not offended before or since these charges, and there were no indecent images of children on his devices.

Judge Huw Rees described Strain’s messages to the decoy as “vile and explicit conversations”.

“This was highly sexualised behaviour which was persistent and regular,” he said.

“You have an unhealthy and deviant interest in pre-teenage girls.”

He jailed Strain for four years and seven months for attempting to cause a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and 10 months, running concurrently, for attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

Strain must register as a sex offender indefinitely, and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 15 years.

The prosecution offered no evidence on an additional charge of attempting sexual communications with a child, and he was found not guilty of that.