A South Tyneside man has been ordered to sign on the sex offender register after kissing a teenage girl.
Magistrates in South Shields heard Dale Underwood, 27, also used text messaging to discuss having sex with the 14-year-old.
Underwood, the court heard, was ‘flattered’ by the attention he received from the girl.
Lesley Burgess, prosecuting, told the court: “The kiss was on the lips.
“Although Underwood told the girl he meant to kiss her on the cheek.
“The girl’s parents became concerned about their daughter’s behaviour and asked the girl to give them her phone, which she did.”
The court was told there were more than 60 texts between Underwood and the girl.
Ms Burgess added: “They discussed what they would do if the relationship became sexual.
“Underwood said he was taking a hell of a risk and they would have to keep everything a secret.
“He talked of arranging a meeting somewhere where no one would know them.”
He added: “When interviewed by police, Underwood conceded he was flattered by the girl’s attention.
“He said he only planned to take the girl to a McDonald’s.
“He said, he would not have let the relationship become sexual.”
Underwood, of Lynton Avenue, Jarrow, admitted sexual touching of a girl under 16 years.
He had no previous convictions or cautions.
Catherine Farrell, defending, said: “Mr Underwood is a man of previous good character who is ashamed and disgusted by his actions.
“He made full admissions to the police.
“He does not seek to blame the girl in any way for what he did.
“There is a detailed report from the probation service about him which is realistic.
“He is assessed as being at a low risk of re-offending.”
Magistrates ordered Underwood to sign the sex offender register for five years.
He was also sentenced to a three-year community order, including a sexual offender treatment programme.
He was ordered to observe a 7am to 7pm curfew for seven days, and pay £170 costs and victim surcharge.