AN ONLINE pervert has been jailed for 30 weeks after he was brought to book by a vigilante group.

Mark Wilkins, 54, engaged in sexual chat and sent indecent pictures of himself performing a sex act to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl. But a paedophile hunters’ group had set up a fake profile and went around to his Connah’s Quay home before calling the police.

Judge Rhys Rowlands told Wilkins, who he placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years: “This was truly depraved and disgusting behaviour on your part.”

Prosecuting barrister Richard Edwards said Wilkins made contact with one of the vigilante group’s members who was posing as the girl via Facebook Messenger. The conversations turned to a sexual nature although it was made clear the recipient of his communications was 13.

“He (Wilkins) asked her for sexually explicit pictures and asked her to masturbate and then sent pictures of him masturbating,” said Mr Edwards.

Wilkins asked whether “she” wanted to see him naked and told “her” not to tell anyone about their chats.

He engaged in a “Simon Says” type game which involved undertaking a series of sex acts and asked if “she wanted to touch his penis”.

Wilkins engaged in the perverted chat from May 10 to June 16 this year before the police were contacted after members of the group went around to his home to make a citizen’s arrest.

Wilkins, of Summersville Close, Connah’s Quay pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and also attempting to incite a child to engage in a sex act.

Defence barrister Simon Mintz said Williams was socially isolated after his marriage ended four years ago.

“He has little contact with his adult children and lives with his ageing mother and succumbed to temptation. “He is ashamed and remorseful,” said the barrister.

Williams, the court heard, had never recovered from the death of his son 10 years before and had been treated for depression.

While he had accepted he had sent the images, he told police he had not gained sexual gratification from his actions.

But Judge Rowlands also placed him under the restrictions of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

The judge said: “That calls into question how genuinely sorry you are.”