AN 85-YEAR-OLD caught in a sting operation having sexual communications with a decoy child has been handed a conditional discharge.

Alan Pill - who has since been diagnosed with dementia - said he couldn't remember the explicit conversations with the two fake 13-year-olds.

In the online chats with what was really an undercover officer he asked if she would 'like to be naughty' and to join him naked in his bed.

The octogenarian of Crotch Crescent, Oxford had already admitted one count of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child.

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He was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court for that offence yesterday.

Outlining the case prosecutor Michael Hillman said the online communications took place between September 12 and October 12 2018.

On the first occasion the officer logged in to a chat site purporting to be a 13-year-old girl.

The 'child' accepted a chat request with Pill - whose profile claimed he was aged 40 - and they struck up a conversation.

During that chat Pill asked the girl - who said she was 13 - if she 'would like to be naughty' and 'would like to be licked.'

When she repeated her age Pill asked her if she had seen a man's penis.

Pill was caught a second time by an undercover officer online, this time claiming to be another 13-year-old on October 10.

He asked this decoy further sexually explicit questions about performing sex acts.

He also asked if she wanted to meet and for a picture.

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Discussing other forms of communication he sent the decoy officer - who was purporting to be a child - his mobile number and his personal e-mail address.

He went on to send her via WhatsApp a message where he said he was naked in bed and asked if she would join him and take off her clothes.

Pill went on to admit the offence but said he couldn't remember the communications.

In mitigation Gareth James, defending, said his client had taken to using the internet for 'companionship' but this had 'deteriorated' leading to 'improper conversations.'

He added: "He says quite frankly he does not have any direct recollection of the conversations or what happened."

Sentencing, Judge Maria Lamb said she would take a course which 'on the face of it would appear exceptional but seems to me the only proper course to take in the circumstances.'

She ordered that Pill be made subject to a conditional discharge for 24 months.

That means provided he does not offend again in two years there will be no further penalty.

Pill was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years and must sign the sex offenders register. He will also pay a victim surcharge.