A 92-year-old RAF veteran has been jailed for 18 months after being caught by an online vigilante group attempting to meet an 11-year-old girl for sex.

Ivor Gifford was caught The Hunted One, by a group that pretended to be a 12-year-old girl called Jodie and an 11-year-old named Jessie whilst chatting to the pensioner online.

The former businessman sent explicit messages to the two fake profiles asking them to "dress sexy" before arranging to meet Jessie at Llanhilleth, near his home in Abertillery, South Wales.

Gifford was convicted of two charges of attempting to incite a child aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity and attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming at Newport Crown Court.

Judge Daniel Williams said that the pensioner was "well-versed" in chatrooms, using emojis and language to attract and groom young girls on social messaging site Waplog.

According to The Daily Mail, Williams said: "You were on the internet looking for young girls and looking for young girls to engage in sexual activity.

"You were well-versed in using chat sites and very adept at using language and emojis to keep what you believed to be young girls engaged in conversations with you.

"You intended to send them images of your penis. The communications went on for some time. You are 92 years of age," Williams continued. "That age is reflected in your physical health, which is far from good, but you are mentally well and mentally able to communicate with young girls."

Gifford sent both Jodie and Jessie an explicit image between 26 September and 2 December last year showering them with compliments and describing sexual intercourse. The court heard how he asked for a "naughty photo" and asked Jodie "do you want sex, love?" and for them to keep it a secret.

"You said how your messaging could lead to you taking her virginity," Williams said. "You arranged for Jessie to travel to Llanhilleth where you would meet her.

"You told her you would like her to be your secret lover. In relation to that meeting, you asked this 11-year-old girl to dress sexy for you to tempt you."

Gifford, who had no previous convictions, travelled by taxi to meet Jessie where he was confronted by members of The Hunted One, and then arrested. The court heard how Gifford, who was in a wheelchair in court, has suffered a heart attack and a stroke and since the incident has been "ostracised" from his family and friends.