Jarrow man had sex with underage girl he met on Facebook
A man from South Tyneside has been spared jail after having sex with an underage girl.
Adam Underwood met the girl on Facebook where she told him her age but Newcastle Crown Court heard the 21-year-old continued to communicate with the girl before meeting her in person.
Alec Burns, prosecuting, said: "She went to his house, she spent the night and it ended in sexual intercourse."
Mr Burns told the court the sex was consensual and that the girl did not consider herself to be a victim.
The offence came to light when her mother found photos of them together in bed on her daughter's phone.
Underwood, of Albert Road, Jarrow, was arrested and told police he thought the girl was 18-years-old before later admitting he knew how old she was.
Underwood, who has no previous convictions, admitted sexual activity with a child at a previous hearing.
Vic Laffey, defending, told the court Underwood was a "immature" young man.
Mr Laffey said: "He didn't realise the seriousness of the situation he was placing himself in when he got involved in the activity - which has ended up in him appearing in front of the court.
"There is nothing sinister about it. He clearly has learned his lesson.
"He regrets what happened, he regrets the embarrassment he may well have caused this young lady.
"I can be relatively certain this young man won't bother the courts again."
Mr Recorder Simon Jackson QC told Underwood the girl was below the legal age of consent.
The judge said although the girl does not describe herself as a victim the court seek to protect those who are underage.
He told Underwood: "The complaint makes clear you did not press her to have sex with you, it was something which arose out of particular circumstances in which you found yourselves."
Judge Jackson said Underwood has shown remorse and accepts he is a low risk of re offending.
He sentenced Underwood to 16 months in prison suspended for two years.
Underwood was also ordered to complete 40 days of a rehabilitation requirement, abide by a electronically monitored curfew and sign the sex offenders
register for 10 years.