A sexual predator narrowly avoided jail after sending a teenage girl explicit photos and messages.
Jason King, 39 from Watford, sent a picture of his penis to the 15-year-old after she refused to send a picture of her breasts.
He had engaged in inappropriate messaging with the girl before sending the images.
Prosecutor Christopher Howerton said: “He was engaging with her in adult and inappropriate conversations”
King, who is a father of four, had been speaking to the girl as early at April last year, and began asking for pictures of the girl in June, to which she refused.
However, he proceeded to send her a picture, firstly of his torso, then his penis. He continued to ask her to not tell anyone about the conversations they were having and that she should delete the messages.
The police were contacted after the girl told a relative.
King appeared in St Albans Crown Court after pleading guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child under the age of 16.
David Osbourne, the recorder said: “When people are young and going through adolescence it can be a confusing time for them.
“It is not helped by the predatory attitude of older people – they require protection from people like you.”
The judge said King had avoided going to prison by a “whisker.”
He passed a six month jail sentence suspended for 12 months.
King must attend the Horizon sex offender treatment programme and attend 20 days of a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
He must abide by a 3 month curfew between 7pm and 7am and register as a sex offender for 7 years.
He is also banned, for 7 years, from contacting anyone under 16 on the internet.