A MAN who raped a girl he met over the internet has been jailed for more than six years.
Father-of-one Jonpaul Wiseman sought sex with strangers after his relationship with his partner got into difficulties, Durham Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Deborah Sherwin told the court Wiseman set up a Facebook account in a false name to groom potential victims.
She said: “The account showed conversations of a sexual nature with both adults and children.
“In this case, while he may initially have believed her to be older, he knew her true age when sex took place.”
Wiseman, 25, of Beech Avenue, Murton, County Durham, admitted rape, and possession of an indecent image of a child.
The court heard Wiseman and the girl agreed to meet behind the bus garage in Murton, and she declined to have sex but agreed to meet again the following night.
Mrs Sherwin added: “Matters came to light the following day when the girl told a school friend she had been raped.
“When first spoken to by the police, the girl said she had been attacked by a stranger.
“She later said it was a man she had been talking to on Facebook. Police inquiries led them to the home of this defendant.”
Paul Elliott, defending, said: “Mr Wiseman says he is sick, sorry, and ashamed. Messages to the girl afterwards demonstrate remorse.”
Judge Robert Adams jailed Wiseman for six years and three months.
The judge told him: “I have read of the devastating impact this offence had on your victim.
“I accept there was regret afterwards, but the damage had been done.
“You say you didn’t target a child but it is clear you were not particularly fussed about her age.”
Wiseman was made the subject of an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order, banning him from unsupervised contact with children.
He must register as a sex offender for life.