A 61-year-old sex offender who posed as a teenage boy in his explicit text messages to a young child minder has avoided a jail sentence.

Instead David Victor McEwan must do a sex offenders’ rehabilitation programme, 100 hours’ unpaid work and three years’ supervision.

He has been banned from having any contact in the next three years with the woman he made the subject of his sex fantasies and must also pay £85 court costs.

It was his second sexual offence. In 2003, he was convicted of indecently exposing himself.

Senior York magistrate Malcolm Smith, sitting with two colleagues, told McEwan his text messages were a serious offence, made worse by him masquerading as a boy.

He said: “We have heard from the victim on the alarm and distress these messages caused her. She is still worried and upset about this episode.”

McEwan, of Ponderosa Caravan Site, Goose Lane, Sutton-on-the-Forest, pleaded guilty to sending sexually explicit text messages. He apologised to the court at the end of the hearing.

Katy Varlow, prosecuting, told York magistrates McEwan and the woman did not know each other. But he saw her putting an ad for her child-minding business on a superstore noticeboard which included her mobile phone number.

From August 1 to August 7 he sent her sexually explicit text messages, claiming to be 15 or 16, and describing what he was doing as he thought of her. She thought he genuinely was a teenager and was concerned every time she saw a youth, fearing it was the text messenger.

McEwan continued to send despite her asking him to stop and threatening to tell police. Eventually, she carried out her threat and he was arrested.

Liam Hassan, representing McEwan, said the defendant had been going through a difficult time. He and his family had had to leave their home of 20 years when its owner went bankrupt and he had had his hours cut at work.

McEwan was fully remorseful for what he did and had apologised to the woman in his last text message.

Park clarification

The owners of Ponderosa Caravan Park in Sutton-on-the-Forest have asked us to state that David Victor McEwan does not live at their park, although that was the address given to York Magistrates Court.