A MAN attempted to arrange a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old boy he contacted via the gay dating app Grindr only to find it was a trap set by a paedophile hunter.

Adam Gill, 42, of Timperley Lane, Leigh, was sentenced today, Friday, at Bolton Crown Court to a three-year community order.

Katie Jones, prosecuting, told how Mark Jones set up a profile as "Jason" on the app on April 5 2017 and the same day was contacted by Gill, who sent him an indecent picture of his private parts and made sexual comments to him.

The next day Gill arranged for the "boy" to come to his home for a sexual encounter.

Mr Jones arrived at the house and when Gill opened the door, took off a baseball cap and told him: "You know I'm not 14 now, don't you?"

Police were called and Gill pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Rachel Shenton, defending, stressed that Gill has learning difficulties and, although he lives independently, his mother is his carer.

Describing it as "a sad case" she added: "He is a man who is isolated from his peer group and has never had a sexual relationship in his life."

She said Gill had created a fantasy world and has limited understanding, but realises he has done wrong.

Judge Graeme Smith was told that, since his arrest, Gill's mother and their church have taken steps to prevent him reoffending, including software being put on his phone which alerts family if he is looking at anything inappropriate.

"He has a support network that is extraordinary," said Miss Shenton. "They are doing everything they can to protect him and others from him."

Sentencing Gill, Judge Smith described him "lonely, vulnerable and suffering from learning difficulties."

"This was nothing more than sexualised fantasy on your part," he added. "I am satisfied that, despite this very sexualised conversation, there is no likelihood you would have ever done anything like that in real life.

"It would never, in fact, have led to a sexual act with a child because there was no child in existence."

As part of his community order Gill will have to participate in a sexual offenders' treatment programme and undertake 30 days of rehabilitation activates.

He was placed on the sex offenders' register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years, which includes banning him from having unsupervised contact with children.