A PAEDOPHILE pensioner messaged a nine-year-old girl on WhatsApp asking for a picture of her after calling himself her “dream lover”.

Richard Jones, 76, from Blackwood then sent his victim a video of himself rubbing his penis over his boxer shorts, prosecutor Kathryn Lane said.

“He was soliciting images from the child,” she told Cardiff Crown Court.

Jones was arrested shortly after he committed the offence last month on April 6.

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The defendant, of Apollo Way, pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child.

He has previous convictions for battery and conspiracy to defraud but none for any sexual offence.

Jones’ barrister Hashim Salmman asked the judge to take into account the fact that his client had no relevant previous convictions and that there was a “realistic prospect of rehabilitation”.

He added in personal mitigation: “The defendant lost his wife in 2006 and has lost four children between 2018 and 2022 to alcohol abuse, the misuse of controlled drugs or the combination of both.”

Jones appeared in court via video link from Parc Prison in Bridgend and had spent the last month in jail after being remanded in custody following his appearance at Newport Magistrates’ Court in early April.

Judge Richard Kember told the defendant: “At around 7.30 in the evening you sent messages via the WhatsApp messaging platform to a nine-year-old girl.

“Messages included comments such as, ‘Your dream lover, send me your picture darling.’

“This prompted the nine-year-old to send you a picture and in response you said ‘Wow.’”

The judge added: “Your pre-sentence report indicates that you have been a hard worker all your life since the age of 15, initially for the NCB and then you retired in 2006.

“You have unfortunately suffered a number of tragic bereavements.

“Your wife died in 2006 at about the time you retired.

“Four of your adult sons died over a four-year period from 2018 to 2022.

“You haven't sought support for any of that.”

Jones was jailed for eight months suspended for 15 months.

He was ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

The defendant will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.