Anthony Fish, a 47-year-old man from Tyne and Wear, England, was awarded 16 months of imprisonment following his actions of exchanging sensual and erotic messages with "teenagers" in an attempt to have sex with them.

Fish, a truck driver, was sending messages to whom he thought were teenage girls, but in fact were paedophile hunting groups, "Guardians of the North and "Dark Justice" pretending to be minors. Fish thought he was communicating with a 15-year-old girl and her two 13-year old friends, Mail Online reported.

He began a filthy conversation, sent a picture of his penis to the girls and demanded for their topless pictures in return.

The groups informed the police about the incident who then arrested him. While being interrogated, Fish admitted accusations made against him and accepted two counts of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming and three counts of provoking a child to involve in sexual activity.

Liam O'Brien, the prosecutor said Fish, asked the "15-year-old girl" to have sex with him while the "13-year-olds" can watch them getting intimate. Fish further wrote he would use protection “to keep u safe" [sic], referring to condoms. The incident took place July 23, 2017 where he talked with the girls for over six hours on WhatsApp.

Tony Davis, attorney appearing for Fish, said in Durham Crown Court, "The reality is that there could never have been an exchange of images as, de facto, the 'victims' didn't exist. This reflects the approach previously adopted in these Dark Justice - type cases. They are all of that nature.”

“He pleaded guilty to the offences as part and parcel of the same episode of sexual grooming. Of course, it never got to the stage of actually attempting to meet."

Davis requested the court to announce a suspended prison sentence for Fish, though the court rejected the plea.

The court reportedly said the accused "clearly intended to have a meeting to engage in full sexual intercourse,” with minor girls.

“It demonstrates a determination during the course of that day to meet those girls.”

While announcing the judgment, Judge Prince said, “You had seen what you thought was an opportunity and you intended to take advantage of it. I take the view in this case, that the appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody.”

The court further said punishing him would act as a deterrent to stop men with "unhealthy and deviant interests."

Pedophile A 47-year-old man was arrested for attempting to incite whom he thought were teenagers to have sex with him. In the representational image a photo taken shows a handcuffed man at the police headquarters in Lille, northern France, Nov. 29, 2018. Photo: Gettyimages/PHILIPPE HUGUEN