A police worker was caught by paedophile hunters posing as 13-year-old girls after he sent them “abhorrent” photos, a court heard.
Andrew Grimstead, a resources co-ordinator, sent footage of himself performing a sex act to who he thought were teenage girls.
Instead he was confronted by the Justice for the Innocent vigilante group, who then reported him to cops.
But the vigilante group said they were furious after Grimstead was handed a 36-month community order after admitting to three offences of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act and three of attempting to have sexual communication with a child.
Justice For The Innocent described the sentence as “diabolical”, saying Grimsted was in a position of trust and should have been jailed.
A spokesman said: “The sentence fails to reflect the seriousness of his crimes and what could have happened had there been no intervention by a decoy.”
Southampton Crown Court, Hants, heard the 50-year-old thought he was in contact with young girls aged 13 when he sent footage of himself performing a sex act.
But instead he was confronted by the vigilante group who had travelled to his home, and called the police.
In footage of the confrontation, Grimstead can be heard saying he is “embarrassed” after being caught.