An IT worker caught in a paedophile hunter sting has been spared jail after a judge heard his partner is due to give birth to their child any day.
Denys Terebenets, 27, wept in the dock as he was handed a three year community order and allowed to walk free despite admitting a raft of child sex charges
Ben Knight, defending, told Minshull Street Crown Court his client had no previous convictions and has already signed up to a course with the Lucy Faithful Foundation, a charity that works to prevent child sex abuse.
“His partner is overdue to give birth with their first child,” added Mr Knight.
“She will be induced in the next few days.”
He also argued that were his client to be jailed, he would be exposed to more experienced criminals.
“He would immediately be placed on the VPU (Vulnerable Prisoners Unit) where he would meet those who are habitual residents of the VPU.
“What does this court know about those types of offenders?”
“They are manipulative in their actions and quite frequently induce others in those patterns of offending.”
Terebenets pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to incite a child under 13 to commit a sexual act and two counts of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.
The guidelines for sentences on such offending could have seen him jailed for at least three years, the court heard.
The case came to light when police were called to an address in Droylsden, Tameside, in January this year.
A ‘vigilante group’ was attempting to detain a man they believed to have committed sexual offences.
Terebenets was arrested and taken to Ashton police station.
The court heard he initially tried to deny having exchanged explicit messages with decoys from the group, ‘Undercover and Expose’, claiming he had in fact intended to ‘catch out’ people posing in chat rooms under fake profiles.
But police later found messages he exchanged with a decoy posing as a 12-year-old girl called ‘Macey-Lee’.
The court heard Terebenets, calling himself ‘Michael 0714’, quickly became sexual, the defendant making graphic suggestions and sending the ‘girl’ pornographic images.
He indulged in similar sickening behaviour with a second decoy posing as a 13-year-old called Nat in another chat room, the court was told.
Sentencing, Judge John Edwards said he had been convinced by the mitigation put forward by Terebenets defence team and agreed with a probation report which recommended his risk to society was best managed in the community.
“These organisations deploy decoys to ensnare individuals such as you,” he told Terebenets.
“That fact remains indulged yourself with two people whom you believed at some stage were children in the most sickening and perverted conversations.
“I hoe you appreciate the harm that cases such as these involve – you are feeding a burgeoning market.
“You could have no complaint if I passed a deterrent sentence.
“But Mr Knight has persuaded me that the public is best served if I put you on a rehabilitation course.”
Terebents was given a three year community order and must remain on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
His mother wept in the public gallery as he was allowed to leave the dock.