A BARNSLEY paedophile who asked a 12-year-old girl - who turned out to be an undercover cop - for underwear pictures and photos in her school uniform has walked free from court.

Mark Ireland, 50, of Spring Gardens in the town centre, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage a child in sexual communication after he was caught by an undercover officer.

He messaged the officer on social media on January 19 last year and, over the next ten days, sent pictures of his genitalia.

On February 17 he was arrested by South Yorkshire Police and he has since lost his home, his marriage and his kids.

Ireland was made the subject of a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months and was told he will have to carry out 20 days of rehabilitation.