Ex-British Airways pilot spared jail for trying to meet a child for sex
A former British Airways pilot who tried to lure a 14-year-old boy to his elderly parents' home for sex has kept his freedom after a judge said losing his job was a "significant punishment".
Gary Morris, 46, was tricked by a fake profile of a boy called Tom created by the paedophile hunters Guardians of the North on the gay dating app Grindr.
He was found guilty of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming after a trial last month at Newcastle Crown Court
Morris, from Brighton, was visiting his parents in Sunderland over Christmas 2016 and invited Tom over to their house for sex.
The Guardians of the North tipped off police and, when Morris answered the door thinking Tom had arrived, he was faced by officers who arrested him.
John Dye, defending, said: "It was moments of madness two years ago which the defendant has had time to reflect on."
Judge Edward Bindloss said the case was aggravated because Morris had claimed to be 38 and because he had discussed engaging in oral sex with the decoy.
But he suspended a 12-month jail sentence for a year after telling the defendant: "You have been suspended as a British Airways pilot, which is a prestigious job and a job with a substantial income.
"In my judgment, that, to some extent, is a substantial punishment to you."
The judge said Morris was also of "positive good character", hard-working and a kind and caring friend.
He must carry out rehabilitation requirements and will be on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
British Airways confirmed Morris no longer worked for the airline and has not flown since his arrest in 2016.