A PAEDOPHILE who was caught after he told police he was being blackmailed over the internet has pleaded guilty to child sex crimes.

Phillip Dawson, of Springfield Road, Wantage, admitted one count of inciting or causing a child to engage in sexual activity, as well as two counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity. He also admitted one count of possessing indecent images of children and two counts of making indecent images of children.

The 39-year-old entered the pleas yesterday at Oxford Crown Court and his case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Nigel Ogborne, prosecuting, said the crimes came to light after Dawson went to Wantage police station with his mother to report a blackmail allegation.

The defendant told officers he was in an online chat room when someone who said they were “cleaning up the internet from paedophiles” demanded he pay £1,400.

Mr Ogborne said Dawson then left the police station, but shortly afterwards police visited his home and found more than 1,400 indecent images of children had been downloaded on his computer between 2006 and last year.

Chat logs showed Dawson had contacted a girl aged between 15 and 16 and a 14-year-old boy between 2009 and 2011 and invited them to engage in sexual activity, he added.

Dawson was released on bail to be sentenced on December 19.