A pervert compared himself to disgraced former England and Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson when he was caught on camera trying to meet an underage girl.
Garry Baker believed he had been sending sex chat to a 15-year-old girl over dating site Badoo but had been duped by online paedophile hunters Guardians of the North.
When the 24-year-old turned up at a McDonald's car park in Sunderland to meet the child, he was confronted by the group who had a video camera in tow and the police on their way.
Baker told the group, while being filmed: "I look at the things that have happened with Adam Johnson and things like that and I have done exactly the same thing. I have been really stupid."
Former Sunderland player Johnson is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for sex offences involving a 15-year-old girl.
At Newcastle Crown Court Baker, of Allendale Drive, South Shields, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child under 16 to engage in penetrative sexual activity.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court Baker, who had never been in trouble before, was carrying a condom when he turned up to meet the child but there is a "question" over exactly what would have happened if a teenager actually turned up as he had voiced concern about her age during the messages.
Miss Dowling told the court the Guardians of the North group had set up a profile on adult website Badoo last June and Baker, who said he was an apprentice mechanic, had made contact.
He initially cut contact when he was told "Katie" was a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Sunderland but got in touch again over a fortnight later.
Miss Dowling said the conversations veered between "banal and sexual" with discussions about school and football and Baker asking questions about the girl's underwear and her sexual experience.
On July 15 last year Baker asked the girl if she wanted "to have sex" and tells her "I'm game if you are", despite knowing her age.
He then appeared to change his mind about sex and tells her "I could go to prison" but said he still wanted to meet up.
Miss Dowling added: "When he went to meet the girl in question, he was met by Guardians of the North."
Baker confessed he had contacted "Katie" during police questioning and that he knew she was underage but said he would not have done anything sexual with her if she had turned up.
Judge Stephen Earl sentenced Baker, who has never been in trouble before, to a community order for two years with sex offender registration and sexual harm prevention order for five
The judge said Baker had been "making an emotional connection with a child" and told him: "This was essentially grooming her, obtaining her confidence and doing so knowing her age."
Judge Earl said the questions about underwear and sexual experience Baker asked were "highly distasteful" and "highly inappropriate".
The judge added: "You kept bringing it back to those sorts of matters through the conversations."
Andrew Walker, defending, said many Baker has never been in trouble before, has job and a supportive family and had not gone out looking for contact with a child when he joined the
Mr Walker said Baker's behaviour was "foolish and inappropriate" and added: "These offences bring with them a particular type of disgrace and humiliation on a huge scale that anyone
could find it difficult to cope with."