A CONVICTED paedophile booked a hotel room and arranged to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl only to be arrested by police officers at Bolton train station, a court heard.

Alan Valentine had been 'grooming' an undercover police officer over the previous 10 days, believing her to be a schoolgirl called Freya he had been talking to on a chat room for teenage girls.

At Bolton Crown Court, Nicola Carroll, prosecuting, said Valentine, 45, was only released from prison for a near-identical offence in May before he went back on to the Chat Avenue website posing as a 19-year-old man.

Once there he made contact with the fictional 13-year-old and began trying to gain her trust and persuade her to move on to the private Kik chat application.

The conversation turned sexual as Valentine asked the girl for “kisses and cuddles” and began trying to arrange to meet up.

Ms Carroll said the chats then became highly sexualised as Valentine began asking about her losing her virginity to him and telling her he would “teach her how it was done”.

On August 10 he said they could meet in a park or a hotel and Valentine told her he would book the “best hotel” he could and asked her to bring her school uniform.

He told her not to be nervous and they arranged to meet at Bolton train station with Valentine even sending the girl a timetable.

When he arrived at the train station a few days later at the agreed time he was approached by police officers.

The officers found three condoms in his pocket and later discovered he had booked a room at the Britannia Bolton Hotel.

Valentine, of Charnley Street, Whitefield, denied communicating with the girl in police interview and maintained his innocence throughout proceedings despite eventually pleading guilty to attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.

Ms Carroll said he was sentenced to 15 months for a very similar offence in July last year.

Rachel Shenton, defending, said Valentine, who had learning difficulties, was “a vulnerable character living in a world that wasn’t real. He is exactly the sort of man who needs assistance."

Recorder Jeremy Lasker said Valentine, who was jailed for 27 months with an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, had not learnt from his previous sentences.

“Had that been a real little girl this would have ended with you having significant sexual activity with her. There’s not a lot to convince me if you find a real child that child will be in danger."