A DRIVING instructor is not going to prison despite admitting an attempt to sexually communicate with a child.

Paul Swift, of Ryelands Street, Whitecross, Hereford, was caught trying to talk to a 11-year-old girl on the internet as part of a police operation.

Hereford Magistrates Court heard that the 38-year-old, who is also a musical teacher, attempted to communicate with an anonymous person under the age of 16 to obtain sexual gratification last February.

Nicola Ritchie, prosecuting, said the defendant had a sexual conversation in a private message in an internet chat room.

Swift believed he was talking to an 11-year-old girl from Derby. He told her he was 25 years old and she told him she was 11 and went to school.

Ms Ritchie said Swift asked the "girl" what she was wearing and asked her questions of a sexual nature.

The IP address led police to the defendant's home in Hereford and he was arrested.

Swift, who had no previous convictions, was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, when he appeared before Worcester Crown Court last week.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for five years and placed on a sex offenders' certificate for seven years.