A DRUG-ADDICT told a 14-year-old girl he was sending sexual messages to that it was “okay” for him to talk to her as long as they did not have sex.

Liston Betteridge, of the Oaks, Bracknell, sent the girl separate videos of him and a woman masturbating and then encouraged her to do the same.

He then tried to hide his age by telling the girl -- who was really a woman running a decoy account to catch paedophiles -- that he was 18, despite previously telling her he was 32.

Now 34, Betteridge will serve at least another three months behind bars after being sentenced for the offences he committed in August 2019.

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Alexander Mills, prosecuting, told a court that Betteridge started messaging the girl online before taking their conversation to WhatsApp.

Here, the girl told Betteridge she was 14. He said his real age, which was 32.

The Bracknell man, who has seven convictions for 12 offences, told her she was ‘sexy’ but the woman behind the account responded: ‘I’m not sexy, I’m 14.’

Over the course of 13 days in August 2019, the man would send the girl topless pictures of himself, a photo of a penis, and separate videos of him and a woman masturbating.

The girl asked Betteridge if she would get into trouble upon receiving naked images, but the 34-year-old said she would not if she deleted them “straight away”.

He asked her to send him nude images, told her he would like to kiss her and described his previous sexual experiences to her.

She repeatedly told him she was 14, to which he once responded: ‘As long as we don’t [have sex], it’s okay.’

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Betteridge would then try convincing the decoy he was 18-years-old.

The woman behind the account then passed the information to the police who arrested Betteridge on August 22, 2019.

Kellie Enever, defending, told the court police seized Betteridge’s phone upon his arrest and found no images of children on it.

She said: “There is nothing at all to indicate that he has a preference for children.

“This is an individual who had a momentary lapse in his judgement.

“The fact remains that he has a preference for older and mature women.”

Ms Enevers said Betteridge was a drug addict who was making good progress in prison, where he had been for the past three months.

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Her Honour Judge Nott handed Betteridge a 13-month prison sentence for one count of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act, one count of causing a child to watch a sexual act, one count of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, one count of attempting to incite a child to engage in a sexual act, and one count of failing to surrender to court.

As he will only serve half this sentence in custody, he could be out in three months having served a quarter of a year behind bars already.

In her sentencing remarks, the Judge told Betteridge she would not impose a sexual harm prevention order as she believed this incident was a “one-off.”

“This was out of character for you”, she said.

“There was no evidence you have a sexual interest in children.

“I think this was a one-off. When you looked at the [girl’s] image you thought it was an older person and when you learned she was 14 you just carried on.”

Betteridge was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Thursday, January 20.