A SOUTHAMPTON paedophile has been jailed for 13-months.

Adam Piggott appeared at Southampton Crown Court on Friday faced with charges of attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child and attempting to meet a child for sexual activity.

Using social media, the 31-year-old messaged a 13-year-old-girl called Molly between October 28 and November 7, 2019.

He started the conversation by sending her a message from a profile with the name of Martin – his middle name.

Piggot, of Mansfield Park Street, asked what she was "into" and what she looked like, the court heard.

Molly sent a photo – which he deemed "cute" – and then sent an image of himself back.

His messages eventually turned more explicit and more sexual.

Little did he know, Molly was not a real girl.

An online police unit tasked with catching paedophiles had created a fictional profile.

Prosecutor, Dawn Hyland told how Piggott asked if "Molly" had been with an older man.

He offered to meet her and they made arrangements for when his girlfriend was at work.

Piggott asked Molly not to tell anybody.

They agreed to meet at McDonald's in Shirley High Street on November 7.

Piggott drove in and out of the restaurant's car park searching for Molly in vain.

After pulling up in a cul-de-sac opposite he was snared by officers.

During a police interview, he admitted he knew she was 13-years-old and he wanted to meet for sex.

He said it had dawned on him she was not real and he could not give a specific reason why he sent messages.

Transcripts of their exchanges totalled 81 pages.

Defence barrister, Jamie Gammon said: "He [Piggott] is a man of good character and has no previous convictions."

And, that he had taken steps to address his offending behaviour – including hypnotherapy.

Gammon argued that Piggott is "clearly a man with mental health problems" and furthermore he had pleaded guilty.

For his "serious crimes", Judge Henry sentenced him to 13-months in prison and gave him a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.