A WhatsApp pervert who sent lewd messages to a paedophile hunter posing as a girl of 14 was spared jail on Friday.

David Anthony Allitt, 42, of Stephen Road, Prestatyn, received a six months suspended jail term with rehabilitation and 200 hours unpaid work.

He must register as a sex offender for seven years and a sexual harm prevention order was made for the same period.

Judge Huw Rees at Caernarfon crown court said in prison he would spend time with "more sophisticated and more depraved sexual offenders".

There was no actual child involved.

Prosecutor Sion ap Mihangel said Allitt was confronted in August by paedophile hunters.

Defence counsel Simon Killeen said Allitt was of previous good character and motivated to address matters. If he went to jail it would be for a short time.

He had lost his job and good name.

The defendant pleaded guilty to attempting to commit child sex offences online.