A 51-year-old man who made online sexual advances to a girl he believed to be 13 years old was snared by undercover officers posing as the teenager.
Preston Crown Court heard Artur Wiktor, of Fareham Close, Walton-le-Dale, arranged to meet the girl at Blockbusters car park in Corporation Street, Preston.
But when he turned up at the meeting place on September 15, 2011 he was arrested and later charged with attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.
The youngster he had been speaking to was in fact a police officer, the court was told.
Wiktor denies the allegation but opening the trial, Richard Howarth, prosecuting, showed the jury transcripts of chatroom and MSN messages between an account in the name of John Smith and the officer – who was posing as a 13-year-old called Jenny, from Ormskirk.
Mr Howarth said: “He persists in wanting to meet her and persists in wanting a picture of her, despite her repetition that she is 13 years old.”
One of the messages suggests: “maybe we can meet and have fun together”, later saying: “don’t need to be sex – just kissing and touching.”
After a number of internet conversations, the girl agrees to “bunk off school” and meet the man, telling him she needs to be back at school by 3pm to walk home with her brother.
Police officers then made their way to the car park in Corporation Street, where Wiktor was in a car waiting to meet the schoolgirl.
Wiktor was taken to a police station for questioning where he told officers he was not looking for sex with children.
Mr Howarth said: “He said it was just a fantasy world, that she was the one that was making all the running. He had no intention of any sex at all.
“He admitted going to the meeting place – he went more out of curiosity, believing, he said, that Jenny was someone aged 18 or over and that he had no intention of meeting up with someone who was 13 years old.”
But he added: “He is trying to groom her – trying to develop her to the point where she will come and meet him.”