A FORTY-SIX-year-old man who sent an image of his erect manhood to a 14-year-old schoolgirl has narrowly avoided jail. 

Nicholas Collins, from Hittisleigh near Spreyton, sent the girl a series of sexualised messages from his phone.

The teenager told a school support worker about the photo that he sent her and he was arrested by police at Crediton.

Prosecutor Lyndsey Baker said Collins eventually made admissions in police interviews but ‘did not know why he had sent’ the sexually suggestive messages and that they were ‘stupid actions which had ruined his life’. 

Mrs Baker said he was sexually aroused when he sent the image and there had been an element of grooming and planning. 

Collins admitted causing a child aged 14 to look at an image of sexual activity for his own sexual gratification. 

Exeter magistrates jailed him for 22 weeks, suspended for two years. He was ordered to go on a Sex Offender programme, pay £165 costs and was placed on the Sex Offenders’ register for seven years.