A man has denied planning to meet a 15-year-old boy for sex - instead claiming he was carrying out an 'investigation'.

Seamus Smyth, 44, from Langley, stands charged with arranging the commission of a child sex offence.

At Reading Crown Court today (June 26), Judge Alan Blake outlined the facts of the case to a jury.

In 2020, Smyth matched with an undercover police officer on Grindr, the dating app.

The user told Smyth he was a 15-year-old boy - but the defendant nevertheless initiated a sexually explicit conversation.

At one point, Smyth, sent a naked photo to the officer.

Setting out the evidence to jurors, Judge Blake said that Smyth described the interaction as 'general social chat'.

Judge Blake stated: "Sending the picture of his [genitals], he said, would have been 'general chat'."

A number of sexual remarks were made by Smyth towards the 'boy'. He told him: "If only you were stretched out in my king-sized bed naked."

On another occasion, Smyth said: "I'm sure your body needs a really good massage."

Ultimately, Smyth agreed to meet the officer. He drove to a meeting point, only to be confronted by police.

The defendant was arrested, and taken to Maidenhead Police Station.

On the way to the station, an officer reported that Smyth pleaded with him, saying: "I can delete the app. I'll never do anything like this again."

Condoms and lube were found in Smyth's car, and in his jean pocket. However, at interview, Smyth claimed that there had been a misunderstanding.

He said he had never intended to meet an underage boy for sex, and had actually been conducting an 'investigation' all along.

Smyth had previously been scammed on Grindr, and said he believed the user he had been talking to was, in fact, another fraudster. By his own account, he was hoping to unmask the 'boy' as an adult.

In evidence, Smyth told jurors: "I was not accepting that someone could be underage on an over-18 app."

He added: "I was not happy with the app. It's for over-18s - nobody younger should be on the app."

Smyth, originally from Northern Ireland, works in the construction industry. In this role, he has contributed to a number of prestigious projects - including with Crossrail.

Jurors in the case have been sent out to consider their verdict.