A sex offender who was caught with an underage girl he had groomed over Facebook sitting on his bed has been jailed for three years.
Ian White, who has a conviction for having sex with a pre-teen girl when he was 17, was collared by police with a schoolgirl in his home after her worried family reported her missing.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the schoolgirl, who was drunk but fully clothed, had been bombarded with Facebook messages from the 23-year-old, who had promised her drink and presents.
During the previous weeks, White had allowed the schoolgirl and her friends to attend parties and visit him at his flat.
In their online discussions, White had called the girl “Princess” and said he would buy her “anything she wanted”.
But the court heard he also discussed sex in graphic detail and made references to putting the girl in his shed and tying her up with rope, despite knowing she was underage.
Prosecutor Jane Waugh told the court: “She described being flattered at the attention she received on Facebook.
“She was happy to have that attention but did not want a relationship. She would go to the defendant’s flat but always with a friend.
“She described answering messages to keep the friendship and be able to go to the flat with friends.
“She said she never had any intention of having sex with him.
“During one of the parties at his flat there was an occasion when he kissed her on the lips. Nothing was said and it did not happen again.”
White, of Richmond Road, South Shields, admitted meeting a child following sexual grooming.
His victim said in a statement: “I didn’t understand I was being groomed by Ian. I liked it when he gave me compliments.
“I now understand, with the help of my parents and the police, that I was being groomed. I know now what to be aware of in future.”
The girl’s father said in a statement: “He has enticed her to his address through parties, alcohol, drugs, general anti-social behaviour.
“In my opinion, he had every intention of having sexual intercourse with a child.
“I feel physically sick at the thought of that and what could have happened to her if the police had not become involved.”
Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced White to three years behind bars and said he must sign the sex offenders register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for life.
The judge had read 70 screenshots of the messages exchanged between White and his victim.
She told White: “It is perfectly obvious in reading them that you are trying, quite desperately sometimes, to engage her in a sexual relationship.”
Judge Rippon said White had appeared to be encouraging to his victim and help her deal with her relationships with others, but she added: “You aim was always to have her for yourself.”
The court heard White was 17 when he was convicted of having sex with 12-year-old.
Judge Rippon said White still “lacks maturity”.
John Wilkinson, defending, said White accepted his guilt at an early stage and has a good support network to help him on release.
Mr Wilkinson added: “He knows the nature of the offence and the fact of the previous conviction will lead the court to one disposal only.”