A CORONATION Street director who tried to groom a 13-year-old girl in a police sting yesterday walked free from court.
Disgraced Tim Dowd, 66, asked the “victim” – an undercover cop – to send him indecent photos and take part in phone sex last January.
Dowd, who also worked on Emmerdale and Heartbeat, was arrested days later and lost his wife and high-profile job.
The grandad, of Harrogate, North Yorks, was convicted of four child sex offences at Leeds crown court after a three-day trial earlier this month.
Jurors were told how he met the officer on a site named Lycos Chat, before moving on to WhatsApp.
Using the profile Ollie Reed – after the actor Oliver Reed – he asked her whether she was 13 and said it was ‘not a problem’ for him.
The officer, who gave evidence anonymously, said she posed as a 13-year-old called Chantelle.
He asked for snaps of her breasts and phone sex before telling her to delete all the texts messages.
ASKED FOR PHONE SEX
Dowd said he believed that the person he was talking to was an adult pretending to be underage as part of a sexual fantasy.
His barrister Max Saffman told the court: “He had lost his good name, his wife has left him, he has been forced to move out of the family home into a rented flat.
“One of his children has ostracised him, his successful career as a television director has now finished – there is no way back for him.”
Sparing him jail, Judge Rodney Jameson QC told him: “You are tormented by your own sexual desires.”
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Dowd was sentenced to a two year community order.
He must also sign the sexual offenders register for five years and abide by a sexual harm prevention order.
Dowd was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,500.
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