A 28-year-old man messaged a girl online he believed to be 13-years-old to ask her for sex.
Adam Redman made a series of lewd suggestions to "Ashleigh", including telling her he knew three lads who would pay £60 to have sex with her.
Redman was given a suspended sentence after a court heard he suffered a brain injury as a child which effected his thinking.
"The Ashleigh online profile had been set up by the paedophile exposure group Guardians of the North," said Harry Hadfield, prosecuting at Durham Crown Court.
"Messages arrived from the defendant which quickly became sexualised.
"He asked her if she was a virgin, and she replied she was 13-years-old and had not 'done it'.
"The defendant asked for a photograph of her naked breasts, and he encouraged her to film herself performing sex acts."
Redman asked the girl to meet him at Durham railway station, the court heard.
"He asked her if she would have sex for nothing," said Mr Hadfield.
"He then said he knew three lads who would pay £60 to have sex with her.
"That meeting didn't take place, and neither did another one arranged in Sunderland.
"Guardians of the North and the police went to the defendant's home.
"He admitted communicating with the girl, but made no further comment."
Redman, 28, of Mandela Close, Hendon, Sunderland, admitted six charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and two charges of attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence, all in October 2016.
He was of previous good character.
Chris Morrison, defending, said in mitigation: "There was never any meeting, and it was Mr Redman who called it off.
"The talk of the lads who would have sex with the girl for money was just bravado.
"Mr Redman suffered a head injury in a road accident when he was a child which has left him with learning and other difficulties which in turn effect his decision making.
"His mother succumbed to cancer during the commission of these offences.
"He is a man with few, if any, friends, his only real contact with the outside world is a local football team for which he plays."
Redman was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, and 30 rehabilitation activity days.
Recorder Caroline Wigin told Redman: "This offending, while serious, happened at a time when you must have been very distressed over the health of your mother.
"It is also relevant there was no direct contact, nor did you travel to any of the meeting points.
"You did try to meet, but you didn't go through with it."
Redman was made the subject of an order banning him from unsupervised contact with children for 10 years and he must register as a sex offender for 10 years.