Joshua Humphreys, 23, a waiter, of Broadfield Barton, Crawley, pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity online.
At Chichester Crown Court on February 17, he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years, to 240 hours unpaid work, was placed on a sexual offenders work programme, and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to last until further order, severely restricting his access to children and computers.
The father of the victim, who lives in the Horsham district and cannot be identified for legal reasons, has urged parents to keep their children safe on the internet.
He said: “I cannot explain the emotional impact this has had on our daughter and family.
“Please check your security settings and talk with your kids about these sorts of things in an age appropriate manner.
“I cannot stress how important this is. This kind of thing seems to happen more and more often.”
He explained that he found the messages on social media while helping his daughter on the internet.
He said: “I thought I had done all I could to keep my daughter safe online by restricting settings and speaking to my daughter about being safe online.
“The messages had an adult nature and were sent to my daughter.
“I replied to the messages pretending to be my daughter. I told him her age to which he replied ‘I don’t care about ages’.”
The father added: “I’m disappointed he hasn’t been sent to prison for what he has done.
“I do accept that he has a Sexual Harm Prevention Order placed on him to monitor and restrict his movements: this will hopefully identify if he reoffends.”
He also thanked Sussex Police for ‘acting quickly’ in arresting the offender.
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