A paedophile from St Neots who boasted about workingfor a modelling agency to a “young girl” before asking her for explicit images has been jailed.

Stephen Moore, 46, began messaging what he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, but was in fact a decoy account set up by an Online Child Abuse Activist Group (OCAG), on January 9.

Over coming days Moore's messages became increasingly intimate, saying he liked, "to make love", and claiming he had done, "underwear shoots". He also asked her to, "put on nice underwear and send a couple of pics".

He offered her £200 to do a photoshoot with him, saying he was trying to help her, and even sent pictures to show what he wanted.

Moore planned to meet the "girl" on 19 January but was confronted outside his house by members of the group who called police. He was arrested and, following a search of his house and car, a contact Taser was found hidden in his glovebox.

The group also told officers Moore had been messaging another decoy account, also a "14-year-old girl", earlier that month.

He told the "girl" she looked "very sexy" and said they wouldn't get into trouble if she didn't tell anyone, saying they should, "just keep it our secret".

Six days later Moore asked for explicit images and when she refused he quickly backtracked and said, "well done for saying no", claiming it was a test.

Moore, of Wood Ridge Crescent, was jailed for 30 months at Cambridge Crown Court today (7 August) after pleading guilty to two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and possession of a prohibited weapon.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for seven years and made the subject of a seven-year sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

DC Kayleigh Fillary said: "Moore continually spoke inappropriately to people he thought were young girls and even asked them to regularly delete the messages in a bid to hide his behaviour.

"Thankfully, they were two fake accounts set up to catch out offenders like him."

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "Moore deceived and groomed two young girls he believed to be just 14 year old.

"Thankfully, on this occasion, they weren't real and the decoy accounts have ensured a man who poses a clear risk to children has been brought to justice. Rehabilitation is now vital in reducing the risk he may pose in future."

Anyone concerned that a child is being abused or someone may be viewing indecent images can call the NSPCC Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk.