A BRIDGWATER man who has an 'interest in young girls' and tried to import a child sex doll from China has been spared jail.

Sean Doel, 46, of Graves Close in Bridgwater, pleaded guilty to improperly importing or being concerned in the importation of goods to which a prohibition/restriction applies when he appeared at Taunton Crown Court on Thursday, June 14.

At a sentencing hearing at Taunton Crown Court today (July 11), prosecutor Patrick Mason, said the UK Border Force at Stansted Airport seized a parcel from China addressed to Doel which contained a child sized sex doll in April last year.

Mr Mason said the doll cost about £200 and came with a number of extra items including a cheerleader outfit and other items.

The court heard a consultant paediatrician at Musgrove Park Hospital analysed the doll after it was seized by police and said it looked like a child aged between three and six-and-a-half years-old.

Mr Mason said Doel has 'an interest in young girls' and after his arrest police looked at his computer and discovered he had been using chat rooms on the dark web to chat to teenage girls.

Defending Doel, Harry Ahuja said the doll was for Doel's 'private use' and he intended to use it for 'sexual purposes'.

"This was a doll that was advertised as an adult sex doll," Mr Ahuja said.

"The defendant accepts that he ordered it as he was attracted to it and the use of it."

Mr Ahuja urged Judge David Ticehurst to not put 'too much weight' on the age of the doll and said the cost of sex dolls goes up when more plastic is used.

Judge Ticehurst quickly responded and said: "Come on Mr Ahuja. He obviously has an interest, come on, he has previous convictions for sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16."

Mr Ahuja said Doel has had an interest in young girls since his conviction in 2010 and said 'sadly' it is an interest he still has.

When sentencing Doel, Judge Ticehurst described his interest in young girls as 'perverted'.

"After you were arrested in your interview with the probation service you said you have an interest in young girls, a perverted interest," Judge Ticehurst said.

"Undoubtedly you have an interest in young children. The device you ordered could have diverted your interest away from it or could have developed your interest more."

Judge Ticehurst sentenced Doel to an 18-month community order, 100 hours of unpaid work and a requirement to attend up to 30 days of rehabilitation activities.

He also imposed a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order on Doel, ordered him to pay £750 in costs and ordered that the doll be destroyed.