A PAEDOPHILE with a ‘distorted attitude towards British girls’ tried to meet a ‘14-year-old’ for sex at Burnley Bus Station just weeks after arriving in the UK.

Preston Crown Court heard how father-of-one Abdul Aziz was snared by a combination of the so-called paedophile hunter groups Cobra UK and Confronted and Caught.

Prosecuting, Peter Barr said 38-year-old Aziz began contacting what he thought was a 14-year-old girl called Ruby on August 26 after finding her online.

However it transpired he was actually messaging a 41-year-old female member of Cobra UK, who was acting as a decoy.

Mr Barr said the very first message Aziz sent to her was a lewd request for sex.

When Ruby responded by saying: “I don’t know what you mean, I am only 14,” Aziz responded by saying it meant to “hang out and make love.”

There then followed a series of sexual messages over a four week period on Whatsapp in which Aziz asked Ruby several questions and made suggestive remarks.

The court heard that Aziz asked the girl to send him photos of her in her bra and when she said she couldn’t because her phone was broken he offered to pay to get it fixed. He also offered to pay for her to get credit on her phone.

On August 26 Aziz arranged to meet Ruby, who said she was from London, at Burnley Bus Station. He said he would take her to Rochdale because “it had nice views”.

But when he arrived he was met by members of the group Caught and Confronted, who contacted the police.

Mr Barr said police confiscated Aziz’s two Samsung mobile phones. On one of them they found 18 indecent images of pre-teens.

When Aziz was asked about those he said he had been sent them by another person and he thought he had deleted them. But the court heard those images had been saved in the same folder on his phone as family photos.

Aziz, of Sandhurst Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence and possessing indecent images of children.

Defending, Mohammed Nawaz said his client had come to the UK weeks before he had committed the offences on a family extended visa. He said that was now unlikely to be extended and his client would be deported.

Mr Nawaz said: “He has a young family. He has been excluded from living with his wife and child. The problems that exist in his marriage have only been exacerbated by his offending.”

Jailing Aziz for 18 months, Judge Heather Lloyd said she was concerned by probation’s assessment that he posed a high risk of harm to children and vulnerable females.

Telling Aziz that it was clear he considered Ruby as an “easy target for his sexual gratification”, she added: “It is said by the author of the pre-sentence report that your actions were planned and deliberate, born out of your distorted attitude towards British girls.”

Aziz was made subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and told to sign the sex offenders register for the same period.