A "dirty old man" known as Father Christmas because of his white bushy beard and big belly has been jailed for 22 months in England for grooming two girls in a pub by attempting to bribe them to show him their "privates".
Lawrence Lewis, of Springwood Avenue, Waterlooville, Hampshire, was sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court, having pleaded guilty to three charges of inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.
Sentencing the 57-year-old, Recorder Shamim Qureshi said it was an unusual case which did not fit within normal sentencing guidelines.
He said: "When Father Christmas turns out to be a dirty old man asking to look at their underpants and private parts, we have a very different situation regarding the Sentencing Council."
The judge banned Lewis from playing the role of Father Christmas, for payment or otherwise, for a period of 10 years as part of a sexual harm prevention order which also restricts him from having any interaction with girls under 16.
Lewis was also ordered to sign onto the sex offenders' register for 10 years and told to pay a £100 victim surcharge.
Robert Forrest, prosecuting, said Lewis had approached an eight-year-old girl on two occasions at the Wellington pub in Waterlooville in December last year and January 2016 and offered her money to expose herself to him.
On another occasion, he also made the girl's 11-year-old friend a similar offer.
He said the girls had known Lewis as Father Christmas.
Mr Forrest said: "This defendant was a regular of that public house; he was known by several other regulars as Father Christmas and Santa because of his appearance at the time.
"He said in interview he did look at the time like Father Christmas - he had a white bushy beard, white curly hair and was well-built."
Mr Forrest said that in one incident he asked the younger girl six times to expose herself to him and offered her payment of £3.
The girl complained to her mother and Lewis was arrested.
In an interview he told police he had been drinking for four hours and could not remember what had happened.
On the previous occasion, Lewis offered the friend £4 to show him her underwear and to expose herself.
The friend's mother said the incident had left her daughter "suspicious of men and strangers" and the mother of the eight-year-old said her daughter was left "scared".
Mr Forrest said: "This defendant did look like Father Christmas, he was known as Father Christmas and Santa.
"He was known on several occasions to act as Father Christmas.
"Given his convictions for these offences, it would be necessary to stop him acting as Father Christmas for the foreseeable future. It's about risk of harm and we say there is an obvious risk of harm."
Lian Webster-Martin, defending Lewis, who has since shaved his head and beard, said: "He has shaved his beard and wishes to step away from any suggestion he is performing that role irrespective of any orders imposed today."
She added that he was "genuinely remorseful".