Sunderland man who sent sex chat to '12-year-old girl' snared by undercover cops
Callum Drennan got into an online conversation over Kik messenger in January last year and "immediately" turned the tone of his messages sexual.
Prosecutor Vince Ward told Newcastle Crown Court the youngster's profile was a "decoy" that had been set up by the police.
He told the court: "Two undercover officers engaged with the defendant using the same profile.
"It was decoy profile of a 12-year-old girl."
Drennan, 28, of King Charles Court, Sunderland, admitted attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause a girl under theage of 13 to engage in sexual activity.
He told police he was in a "bad place, mentally" at the time of the offences.
Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced him to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with programme and rehabilitation requirements and a £200 fine.
Drennan must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.
Judge Mallett told him: "Between early January 2020 and April 2020 you communicated with someone you believed to be a 12-year-old girl, who was, infact, a police officer acting as a decoy."
Judge Mallett said during the conversations Drennan was "not put off by a reminder of her age".
Glenn Gatland, defending, said Drennan has never been in trouble before and has a depressive disorder
Mr Gatland said Drennan was on furlough from his job, had split from his partner and was separated from his family during lockdown, which left him in "solitary confinement".