A pervert who called himself "Mr World" during online conversations was snared by paedophile hunters after arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl.
Alistair Brown sent shocking messages to the schoolgirl's profile over social media site Whisper and said he wanted to record the sex sessions they would have together.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 36-year-old had actually been duped by Guardians of the North, a Sunderland organisation which sets up fake internet accounts to snare adults looking for contact with children.
Brown, who had arranged to meet the child he believed was called "Laura" in Pennywell, Sunderland, was confronted by the group before the arrangement was due to take place and arrested by the police.
He pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.
Judge Stephen Earl sentenced Brown, of Woodland View, West Rainton, near Durham City, to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and supervision requirements and 140 hours unpaid work.
Brown was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for five years.
Judge Earl said the messages sent by Brown were "extremely distressing to any right-thinking person".
But, because Brown was confronted before the meeting with the child was due to take place, the judge added: "We shall never know just how much of an attempt there would be at meeting, whether it was a realistic intention of the defendant to meet, which is contrary to what he says himself."
Prosecutor Angus Taylor told the court the conversations took place over a six-day period in July 2017.
Mr Taylor said: "A profile in the name of Mr World made contact with Laura on the Whisper application.
"It is accepted Mr World is, in fact, a pseudonym of the defendant."
Mr Taylor said Brown was told the girl was 14 and asked if she liked "older guys".
The court heard the conversations quickly became sexually very graphic.
Mr Taylor added: "He suggested he wished to take photographs and videos of them doing stuff together."
The court heard Brown had sought reassurances that the girl "wouldn't go telling everyone" if the meeting "went wrong" or "she didn't like it".
Alec Burns, defending, handed in references to Brown's ordinarily positive character and said the offending was a "one-off".
Mr Burns said Brown, who has no previous convictions or cautions, has a supportive family, good employment and has attended counselling.
In relation to the offences, Mr Burns said: "Much of the communication seems to be fantasising, which is not unusual in these cases."