A PERVERT preyed a 10-year-old girl by asking her if she "talked dirty to men" and wanted to see an indecent image of a man, a court heard.

David Roberts, 61, struck up the conversation on a social networking site using "child like" terms and talking about dolls, Newport Crown Court heard.

However, he later asked her if she drank and smoked and offered to send her the sexual image but the conversation left the girl "confused" and he was arrested two days later, the court heard.

Police found he had viewed around 560 indecent images of children on his computer, including 33 in the "serious" category A, said prosecutor Jason Howells.

Roberts, of Clearwell Court, Newport, later pleaded guilty to three counts off possessing indecent images of children and a further charge of possessing prohibited images of children.

Judge DJ Hale gave him a three-year community order including an internet sexual offender treatment programme and ordered him to sign on the sex offenders' register for five years.

The court heard he had previously been jailed for an offence of a dissimilar nature but did not impose a custodial sentence as he was not charged with an offence in connection with the social media contact with the child.

Judge DJ Hale told him: "On the basis of your own viewing of child porn and porn over a period of three years, I think the community is best served by you undergoing a sexual offender treatment programme."

Defence barrister Simon Goodman said his client had gone to prison before and indicated his "first step" would be to "recognise he has a problem".

He told the court: "If this man poses a threat to children it needs to be identified."

Judge Hale imposed the three-year order concurrent on each count and gave him a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order which will restrict his online viewing and contacts with children under 16.

He also ordered him to pay a £60 victim surcharge.