A pervert was snared by paedophile hunters when he turned up to meet a 13-year-old girl he thought he had been chatting to on Facebook.
Members of Dark Justice had sent a Adam Richardson a friend request over the social media site using the profile of an underage teen after being tipped off about him speaking to young people online last summer.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 27-year-old loner engaged in explicit sexual chat with the schoolgirl account, despite being told she was 13, and told her their exchanges must be ‘secret’.
Prosecutor David Crook told the court Richardson arranged to meet the teen so they could ‘kiss and cuddle’ but discussed sex and how she could avoid getting pregnant.
Mr Crook said it is unclear exactly what Richardson’s intentions were at the first meeting but added: ‘It is clear there was an intention to meet and there may be sexual contact of some sort. There was discussions about sexual activity.’
Richardson, of Burness, West Denton, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
Jane Foley, defending, said Dark Justice had been ‘persistent’ in asking Richardson what would happen if he met up with the teen and there had been ‘encouragement’ on their part to turn the conversation sexual.
Miss Foley said Richardson was a vulnerable and isolated man who lived at home and did not have good communication skills with people his own age.
She added: ‘He was flattered by the attention he was getting from a member of the opposite sex. That’s what this amounts to.
‘It is a very sad situation he finds himself in.
‘He is highly unlikely to appear before these courts again.’
Judge Paul Sloan QC said Richardson had educational difficulties and was socially isolated but had a good work record and has never been in trouble before.
The judge told him: ‘It was stated she was 13 years of age. Undeterred, you asked her to meet you and said you would bring alcohol with you and you went on to say you wanted to cuddle and kiss her.
‘There was also conversation about having sex and about having to be careful if she got pregnant.
‘It is right to say it is not entirely clear the form of sexual activity you had in mind, albeit, clearly you did have in mind sexual activity would ensue had you met.’
The judge said while Richardson posed a ‘high risk’ of sexual offending, experts concluded he could ‘safely and effectively’ be managed and treated in the community.
Richardson was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and programme requirements.
Richardson must sign the sex offenders register for ten years and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for five years.