A former soap director will NOT have to go to jail, despite being found guilty of grooming a 13-year-old girl.
Married Tim Dowd, 66, worked on both Coronation Street and Emmerdale before being arrested last year.
He was caught in a sting by an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl in care, and arrested in February 2018.
At the beginning of March this year, he was found guilty of three counts of attempting to cause a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity, and one count of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child for the purpose of sexual gratification.
The charges read like a disturbing plot straight from the scripts of a soap.
The former director avoided a jail sentence, and was instead sentenced to a two year community order, in which he has to complete the Horizon programme, and finish a rehabilitation activity order for 30 days.
For five years, he must sign the sexual offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order. He was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,500.
Judge Rodney Jameson QC told him: “You are tormented by your own sexual desires.”
Meanwhile, Mr Dowd’s 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.”
The court also heard that he’s having to live off his savings, as he is now unemployable.
Mr Dowd, a grandfather from North Yorks, denied he was a paedophile despite regularly going online to have phone sex with females.
He told his victim her age “wasn’t a problem” and asked her to send him photographs of her breasts. He also masturbated over the phone.
According to The Sun, Mr Dowd was sacked from his £100,000-a-year role at ITV after a career spanning nearly three decades.
He had directed nearly 200 Corrie episodes since 1994.
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