A man snared by a paedophile hunter gang will be sentenced next month.

Brendan Malone, 55, had been due before Oxford Crown Court for sentence on Tuesday.

But his advocate, Emma Hornby, persuaded Judge Nigel Daly her client should be given the chance to speak to the probation service for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

“Mr Malone is 55, almost 56, and of previous good character,” she said.

READ MORE: Charges brought against Oxfordshire men after Swindon Town FC disorder

A pre-sentence report was thought to have been ordered by the magistrates when he pleaded guilty last month to attempting to meet a girl after grooming and attempting to incite a boy to engage in sexual activity.

However, the probation service had no record of a report being ordered and no report had been prepared.

Adjourning the case until June 14 for the preparation of a report and remanding her client in custody, Judge Daly told Ms Hornby: “It is very important in cases such as this that all options are considered because, quite clearly, what needs to be done is to stop Mr Malone from behaving like this so that if on another occasion there are [real] children involved that they are not in any way harmed.”

READ MORE: 'Dangerous' dog seized after police raid

Malone, of Wilsdon Way, Kidlington, had thought he was talking to real children online. They were, in fact, profiles operated by adult vigilantes patrolling the internet for would-be paedophiles.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on news@nqo.com or 01865 425 445.