A woman who works with victims of abuse snared a paedophile when she went undercover to expose the repeat child groomer by pretending she was a 12-year-old girl.

The unnamed woman caught Giovanni Abbondandolo by pretending to be a child until she passed details onto police in November last year.

Over a three-week period the 45-year-old sent lurid messages and adult porn to the decoy child and planned to meet the girl for sex at Manchester's Piccadilly train station.

Ten years previously, in 2007, Abbondandolo, from Rochdale, was caged after a mother saw him performing a sex act via webcam on her daughter's computer.

Abbondandolo was jailed for six years eight months at Manchester Crown Court after he admitted attempting to engage in sexual act in the presence of a child and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

The woman told the Manchester Evening News: "I work with children who have been victims of sexual abuse. I kept seeing all these stories about people confronting alleged offenders and thought to myself 'the situation can't be this bad'. So I decided to find out."

She told the newspaper that Abbondandolo quickly began to talk about sex: "He asked if I had a boyfriend and if I wanted to be kissed, and if I wanted to be 'naughty' and chat about sex."

Abbondandolo, who was using social networks Qeep and Kik, told the woman that he was having sex with a 13-year-old girl, reported the Manchester Evening News.

She added: "He said he wanted to meet a 12-year-old in a short skirt and heels, and said he would buy me clothes like that."

In 2007 Abbondandolo was jailed for 15 months after Woolwich Crown Court heard he made contact with two children, a 13-year-old boy and his cousin, a 12-year-old girl.

He pretended to be 14 and convinced the girl to turn on a webcam where the mother spottted the pervert performing a sex act and took a photo and reported him to police.

Now Abbondandolo has been made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for an indefinite period, and placed on the Sexual Offenders Register indefinitely.