A PENSIONER sent sexual messages through social media to an undercover police officer thinking he was in conversation with a 13-year-old girl, Selkirk Sheriff Court has been told.

Philip McGill engaged on an on-line chatstream on three separate dates with who he thought was a young female called Kelly.

Despite being told on a number of occasions she was 13 and a school pupil, the chat was described as "sexualised" with the 70-year-old asking her about her school uniform and underwear.

The messages also contained details about acts he would like to carry out with her.

But the court heard McGill was actually in conversation with an undercover police officer from the cyber crimes unit after a report had been received in January about online communications from his mobile phone number.

He pleaded guilty to intentionally sending written communications to a child under 16 and engaging in sexualised conversation

with her through social media from his home between July 5 and 11 last year.

A search warrant was obtained for McGill's home in Bellfield Crescent, Eddleston, near Peebles,

Two mobile phones and a laptop were recovered with one of the phones identified as being involved in the on-line conversations.

McGill told police he recalled the username of the girl he thought was called Kelly but not the content of the conversations.

Defence lawyer Mark Harrower said his client lived with his wife and put forward a letter from her outlining how the case

had affected her.

McGill was placed on supervision for three years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work as part of a Community Pay Back Order.

His name was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register.