A MAN who became “sexually obsessed” with talking to people on the internet has been spared jail after his arrest “shocked him to the core”.

Ian Winn was caught by an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl on messaging site “Kik”.

The 32-year-old, of The Hythe, Langdon Hills, began talking to the profile in April 2019.

Before the user told him she was 13, he had sent a picture exposing himself to her. When the user refused to send intimate photos to him, saying she was 13, he said he would “end it there”.

However, five days later he sent her another picture, this time with himself obscured.

When she continued to refuse the advances, he began sending messages of a more overtly sexual nature.

The user kept refusing saying, she was on the app to talk to boys her own age.

After the messages stopped, police attended Winn’s address and arrested him.

He later admitted attempted sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

Winn was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday.

Christopher Martin, mitigating, said Winn had no health issues, no drugs or alcohol issues and made full admissions.

In a statement from Winn read out by Mr Martin, he said: “This experience has shocked me to my core, and I will never, ever, do anything again to bring me back before the courts.”

Judge Samantha Cohen: “You became sexually obsessed with communicating with people on the internet.

“You adopted a persona using the anonymity of the internet which led you to act in such a way that you would never act in the face of someone who is 13 years old.

“After you were caught in August it became clear you had stopped your behaviour of your own volition and it was a conversation you had with one person only.” Winn was given a three year community order and must complete 30 days of rehabilitation and 140 hours unpaid work.