A HIGHWAYS worker sent explicit images of himself to what he thought was a 13-year-old schoolboy.

Jarrod Goy also sent sexually explicit messages to the “boy” and asked him to describe his school uniform.

But the 46-year-old, who works for a traffic management firm, was actually talking to a police officer using a fake account on an online chat room.

During his sentencing at Southampton Crown Court, the court heard how Goy had begun speaking to the “boy” after initially making contact through online site Chat Avenue on January 7, 2018.

Prosecutor Siobhan Linsley said during the conversation, which last until January 13, Goy sent messages asking for pictures, as well as asking for a description from the “boy” of his school uniform.

Ms Linsley said Goy turned the conversation towards sexual topics.

She added: “There is suggestion by the defendant that he would like to meet up.”

Officers later traced Goy to an address in Gosport, which he shared with his then partner.

The court heard in police interview Goy gave a prepared statement in which he said he was drinking to excess at the time, was in a drink-fuelled psychosis, and had no recollection of the messages.

Mitigating, Lucy Conroy said Goy had been brought up in the care system and had faced a very difficult upbringing.

She said Goy suffered from emotionally unstable personality disorder and depression.

Ms Conroy added that Goy had since come to terms with his offending and had spoken with his friends who had offered support.

She said Goy invited any help that could be given to him by the probation service.

Goy, now of Potton Road, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child.

Judge Nicholas Rowland sentenced Goy to a three year community order – a suggestion put forward by probation as an alternative to a suspended sentence, the maximum which lasts for two years.

In sentencing, he said: “You sent explicit messages to the police officer and sent images to someone who you thought was a 13-year-old boy.

“You didn’t know it was an undercover police officer, but you do now. If this had been a real child the outcome would have been very different.”

As part of his order, Goy was ordered to complete a sex offenders programme, 40 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and a six month alcohol treatment programme.

Goy will also have to complete 50 hours unpaid work and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and notification requirements for 10 years.