A KINCARDINE man was caught communicating indecently with a young girl online after a police sting operation.

Michael Kilbank was rumbled after an officer pretended to be the teen in a WhatsApp conversation with the 50-year-old.

The father and husband admitted that he had spoken to an underage female in a sexual manner, but no indecent content was found on his electronic devices when they were seized.

Kilbank, of High Street, previously admitted that between June 21 and June 22 at his home address, he repeatedly made sexual comments to the child, aged between 13-16, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification. or of humiliating, distressing or alarming them.

Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia told Dunfermline Sheriff Court that police had received information regarding an individual called "Fife Boy" claiming to be 32 years old.

The social media user was involved in a sexual chat with the teenager, although there had been discussions about the female's age.

He was traced at an address in Kincardine.

Police officers went to the property one morning, but Kilbank's wife told them that he had already left for work.

A number of electronics were then taken, but no indecent content was found.

Kilbank was spoken to in Glenrothes and was advised that his devices had been taken and he was under arrest.

He told officers he had used WhatsApp to conduct extra-marital affairs.

Kilbank said he knew he had been speaking to someone under 16, but stopped that because he knew it was illegal.

He accepted that he used the user name identified by police and had spoken to a female who was under 16 and had asked what she was wearing.

The image he had sent to the female had also confirmed it was Kilbank.

Defence solicitor Chris Sneddon told the court: "It's quite clear in the social work report that he accepts responsibility for his actions and is ashamed of himself.

"He was on the app to speak to adult females.

"The position is that he was talking to a 13-year-old, who was a police officer."

Sheriff Pino Di Emidio told Kilbank: "You pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. It is clear from the information I have that this incident has caused a lot of disruption to your family.

"This is a matter that the court needs to take seriously, but I note that you have taken full responsibility and you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself."

The sheriff imposed a community payback order which includes 120 hours of unpaid work and 12 months' supervision.

Kilbank was also placed on the sex offenders' register and told not to have contact with any children apart from his own.