Anton Borg, 55, contacted a decoy profile set up by Dark Justice, purporting to be a schoolgirl called Amy.
Despite being made aware of Amy’s age, Borg quickly started talking about sex acts, sent her a picture of genitals and asked if she would perform a sex act.
Newcastle Crown Court heard he encouraged her to meet him, although no actual meeting took place.
Now married Borg, who suffered changes in his personality after a stroke, has been given a community order after admitting attempting to make sexual communication with a child.
The court heard it was in July 2017 that a member of Dark Justice set up the Amy profile on social media site
Dark Justice contacted police who arrested him and he said he didn’t realise it was as serious as it was.
Borg, of Park Avenue, Whitley Bay, was sentenced to a community order for 18 months with an eight-week curfew. He must also sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for five years.
The court heard his family “thoroughly disapprove” of his behaviour but have remained supportive.
ennifer Coxon, defending, said: “This is something Mr Borg is extremely upset and distressed about, that he has found himself in this position.
“He wholeheartedly holds his hands up to say his behaviour was disgusting in that very short period.”