Glasgow & West Scotland

Consultant tried to meet '14-year-old girl' for sex

John Crooks Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption John Crooks thought he was communicating with a 14-year-old girl from Perth

A urology consultant sent graphic pictures to an undercover police officer he thought was child.

John Crooks, 54, told the officer who he believed to be a 14-year-old girl from Perth he was a doctor and wanted to examine her.

The former surgeon, from Dumbarton, admitted attempting to communicate indecently with a child.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a girl "with the intention of engaging in unlawful sexual behaviour".

Crooks was given a three-year community payback order which includes carrying out 300 hours of unpaid work.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Crooks sent images of himself to the girl between February and March last year, completely unaware it was an undercover officer.

'Serious offences'

He arranged to meet the girl but was arrested when he arrived at the travel lodge he had booked.

Sheriff Martin Jones QC said: "Because of the serious nature of these offences, what I am about to impose is a direct alternative to custody.

"The offences you have pled guilty to are well passed the custody threshold."

Crooks was told he would be supervised in the community and placed on the sex offenders register for three years.

He was also told he could not use anything that connects to the internet, unless it retains the history that the police or authorities can check.

The court previously heard Crooks sent a message to a person he believed to be the schoolgirl on a messenger service called Kik.

After he was told she was a 14-year-old girl from Perth, he sent a string of lewd messages.

'Escape from reality'

Procurator fiscal depute Chris Farrell said Crooks told the girl he was a doctor and wished to examine her.

During their chat, Crooks sent pictures of his private parts to her and suggested they meet.

Intelligence was passed on and officers prepared to meet Crooks at the travel lodge.

Mr Farrell said Crooks - who lived in Kirkintilloch at the time - made his way to a travel lodge, where he was met by two officers in the reception.

He had with him a bag containing condoms and Viagra.

Defence lawyer David O'Hagan said father-of-three Crooks was aware of the seriousness of the offences.

Mr O'Hagan said that at the time Crooks used chat rooms "as an escape from reality".