A fantasist caught grooming a 12-year-old girl he met at an anime convention claimed he was a "hero" who was exposing paedophiles by downloading indecent images.
Adam Eltabib, 30, targeted the child after they met while dressed as Japanese cartoon characters at a convention in London in 2018.
He then sent her numerous inappropriate WhatsApp messages, including one where he said he wanted to have sex with her when she turned 16.
Eltabib was later found with 3,000 indecent images on his computer but claimed to police officers he was a "hero" who was downloading vile pictures to bring down those who took them.
Kathryn Hirst, prosecuting, told Maidstone Crown Court that Eltabib had used the name of an anime character known to stalk and spy on women.
She said: "The victim attended an event in London dressed as her favourite anime character.
"After returning home she showed her mum pictures of her posing with people also dressed as anime characters and it appeared that she had had a really good time."
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Afterwards, the victim's mother became aware of "inappropriate messages" which had been sent to her daughter from a man called Adam.
She asked to see a photograph and realised 'Adam' was an adult and explained to her daughter that the WhatsApp messages were not appropriate.
Ms Hirst told how police began investigating Eltabib for unrelated matters and he was arrested at his work.
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She said that when officers carried out a forensic examination of his phone they discovered images and details of chats he was having with the child, including references to sex.
During a sentencing hearing, Judge Philip Statman rejected as "fanciful" the claim that Eltabib was "a citizen trying to bring others to justice".
Eltabib was sent to prison for a year after admitting to having sexual conversations with a child and two charges of making prohibited images.
The Judge added: "A young girl was being asked in these texts to confront adult issues and you took advantage of her expressing your sexual desires."
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