A mental health nurse who tried to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex has been snared in a police sting and put behind bars.
Steven Green, who was working within a mental health crisis team, had shocking, explicit, chat and tried to arrange a "secret meeting" with the underage schoolgirl in Feburary.
But Newcastle Crown Court heard the 52-year-old "would-be predator" had been duped by undercover police, who had set up an operation to trace adults looking for illegal contact with children online.
In reality, the schoolgirl was a police officer, posing as a child, in internet chatrooms.
Married-dad Green, of Roker Terrace, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to meet a child following grooming.
After his arrest, the once trusted professional lost his marriage, home and job and has now lost his freedom.
Mr Recorder Jamie Hill sentenced him to 12 months behind bars, with 10 years sex offender registration and a sexual harm prevention order.
The judge told him: "In February this year you chose to go online and enter into conversation with someone who you believed was a 14-year-old girl.
"In the course of that conversation, you encouraged that person you thought was a child, first of all to masturbate and gave her instructions on that.
"Then, you made it plain you wanted to meet her with a view to having penetrative sexual intercourse."
The judge said he accepted Green had "numerous stresses" with his work and home life when he committed the offences but said the jail term could not be suspended due to the "speed and determination" he had moved the conversation forward.
The judge added: "None of that, in my judgement, can adequately excuse your intention or the fact that you turned, on that day in February, into a would-be predator.
"It is clear, at that time, you were encouraging someone you thought was underage to have sex with you. There is no other interpretation that can be put on your words.
"In fact, this was a police officer."
The judge said Green "lost a lot" when his offending was exposed to his family and employers.
But he added: "It is your own fault because you behaved in this way."
The court heard Green was snared by a "specialist police unit" that had been set up due to the problem in society with predatory internet behaviour.
Alec Burns, defending, said Green "never left home" during the offending and made no physical attempt to meet the child.
Mr Burns said: "He wasn't thinking in his usual way when he committed these offences.
"He had problems at home."
Mr Burns said Green has lost his marriage, job and family home as a result of what he did and has sought professional help himself.
Mr Burns added: "He is suspended but will lose his job following today. He won't be able to work again in that capacity and understands why.
"He has already lost a great deal."