PRISON time will not be served by a Bracknell man who arranged to meet up for sex with a 'fake 13-year-old girl'.

Anthony Gillam, of Warfield Park, Bracknell, messaged a decoy Facebook account which was posing as the young girl back in June 2018.

A court heard, despite being told she was just 13 years old, Gillam arranged for them to meet at Premier Inn hotel in Slough.

Continuing to message her, the 50-year-old asked her for topless photos and told her not to tell her mother about the hotel booking.

However, Gillam cancelled the hotel on the day the pair was supposed to meet.

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Following this, the woman behind the Facebook account contacted paedophile hunting group ‘No Excuses.’

The group confronted Gillam outside his place of work in June 2018.

At Reading Magistrates Court yesterday, April 30, Gillam’s defence counsel Ronan McCann highlighted the defendant’s learning disabilities when making the case for a suspended sentence.

Gillam’s father, whom he lives with, also had a statement read out at court.

It stated: “He is a big help to me at home.

“He helps with anything I may have a problem with.

“This [incident] is out of Tony’s character and he is remorseful.”

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Defence counsel argued time behind bars would not benefit Gillam, and that rehabilitation activities were more appropriate.

Judge Kirsty Real agreed with this argument, telling Gillam he would serve a suspended sentence instead.

She said: “You were intending to engage in sexual activity.

“You went so far as to book a hotel room.

“But there was no actual child involved.

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“You didn’t target her because she was a child. It is simply that you did not stop it until and it took somebody pointing out to you this was illegal for you to cancel the hotel.

“Your lack of insight is concerning.”

Sentencing, Judge Real handed Gillam a two-year custodial sentence suspended for two years.

He will be forced to complete 60 days of rehabilitation activities.

Gillam was also handed a sexual harm prevention order, which puts restrictions on his internet usage for 10 years.

He will also be placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Gillam was sentenced at Reading Magistrates Court on Friday, April 30, after he pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, arranging a child sex offence, and attempting to incite the sexual exploitation of a child earlier this year.