South Shields 27-year-old caught in undercover police sting trying to engage a girl in sexual activity
Nathan Glover started talking to a teenager over social media site Badoo and switched to private messages over Kik, despite being told he was speaking to a 14-year-old.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 27-year-old made sexual suggestions, sent a graphic image of himself to the underage teen and asked for swimwear pictures of her in return.
But the court heard the 'teen' involved in the chats was an undercover police worker carrying out an undercover operation to protect children online.
Glover, of Talbot Road, South Shields, admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to have sexual communication with a child.
Prosecutor Nicholas Lane said a police employee had set up a profile on adult site Badoo in July last year and Glover made contact the same day.
Mr Lane said: "There was some general chatting and the undercover operator made it known they were a 14-year-old child, though had signed up to the account as an 18-year-old.
"The defendant replied 'thought you looked very young to be 18'.
"The conversation continued, during which the defendant offered to buy alcohol for the person he believed was 14.
"He referred to himself as a sugar daddy of alcohol."
The court heard Glover asked what he would get in return for alcohol and the conversation was then transferred onto the Kik application and "quickly turned sexual".
Mr Lane said: "He asked for pictures of her wearing a swimming suit. The officer disclosed that the person was a virgin and he replied it was sexy."
Mr Lane said Glover sent a graphic picture with sexual suggestions before he was confronted by the police.
He told officers the conversation had "turned flirty and sexual" and confessed he knew it was wrong.
Glen Gatland, defending, said Glover was a "socially isolated man" with a depressive illness who was mostly on his own except for the company of his cat.
Mr Gatland said: "He didn't go in there to look for an underage person."
Mr Gatland said Glover had talked about "cats and dogs" with the teen before the conversation turned sexual.
Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced Glover to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and programme requirements.
Glover must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for seven years.
The judge told him: "You were told the officer was 14 and you continued in conversation with that person, no doubt you believed that person was 14."
She added: "You did think you were inviting a 14-year-old girl to have sex with you."
Judge Rippon said Glover has never been in trouble before, has been assessed as a "low risk" of committing contact offences, is genuinely remorseful and that his significant depression was linked to the commission of the offences.