- Christopher Hartfield sent sexual messages to person he thought was a girl
- He was confronted with the messages after arranging to meet the youngster
- The 41-year-old has now admitted sex offences and faces a possible jail term
- He has walked free, after pleading guilty, with 18-month suspended sentence
A pervert who tried to blame his seven-year-old son for sending an explicit pictures to a teenage girl has walked free from court.
Christopher Hartfield, 41, attempted to blame his young son when he was accosted by a vigilante group outside a train station.
He had made contact with a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl called Hayley on social media.
This is the moment a group of so-called paedophile hunters confronted Christopher Hartfield
He sent her explicit pictures of himself and encouraged her to perform sex acts before arranging to meet.
But, unknown to him, he had really been chatting with a grown man who was pretending to be the girl.
And when he turned up at Hove train station in East Sussex he was confronted by the self-styled paedophile hunters.
Hartfield tried to claim his young son could have contacted the girl as he suffered from ADHD and often got hold of his mobile phone.
Hartfield appeared in court this week and admitted inciting a girl to engage in sex
A video shows Hartfield claiming: 'Yeah but my son even plays with my phone.'
The group, which runs a website called The Hunted One, then subjected Hartfield to a 10-minute grilling.
He also said the website made him think the girl was 18, despite the group showing him a message in which they said she was 14.
At Brighton Crown Court, Hartfield from Sharpethorne, West Sussex pleaded guilty to inciting a girl between the ages of 13-15 to engage in sex and grooming the girl.
He denied knowing the 'decoy girl' was 14 when he was confronted with the evidence
But he walked free from court after being handed an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years.
The vigilante group posted explaining why they carry out their projects.
They said: 'Our decoy spent six weeks chatting. The things he said were just vile and he is a very twisted man.
'While his girlfriend was at work he thought he could bring the decoy back to the house and said you must leave by 5pm.
'He even went to lengths to try and blame his seven-year-old old child for chatting to the decoy.
'We can not express enough how much anger we have towards these [people] when we challenge them, especially when they continue to deny and manipulate the situation, in spite of the evidence.'