A MAN has appeared in court accused of grooming someone he thought was a 15-year-old boy.

Oliver Ciaravella is accused of attempting to meet a boy under 16 in September 2017.

Colchester Magistrates' Court heard the the 38-year-old allegedly sent explicit messages over gay dating app Grindr.

He is then said to have made arrangements to meet in Braintree.

The complainant was not a teenage boy but a vigilante.

Ciaravella, of Mersea Road, Langenhoe, did not enter a plea during the short hearing.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction of the case, saying it was too serious for them to deal with.

Ciaravella was released on bail until a plea and trial preparation hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court which has been listed for August 15.