A MAN arranged to meet a girl for a sexual encounter after befriending her on Facebook, a court heard.

Jonpaul Wiseman contacted a number of women and girls, after trawling the internet seeking a potential partner for a “final fling” before settling down with his long-term girlfriend - who was expecting their first child.

Durham Crown Court heard that sexual activity took place on the second rendezvous between 24-year-old Wiseman, who used the name ‘Lee Smithy’, and the 12-year-old.

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But immediately after the “liaison”, on grassed area, Wiseman severed contact with the distraught girl, deactivating the Lee Smithy Facebook account.

The girl told friends what had taken place at school next day and they, in turn, told staff, who reported it to police.

Although she initially gave a fictitious account about being waylaid by a stranger, by the time police spoke to her again, it was clear she and one of her friends had been in Facebook contact with the man.

Joanne Kidd, prosecuting, said it included her sending him a topless photo of herself, while he, in reply, sent her a picture of his private parts.

Miss Kidd said Wiseman “coerced rather than intimidated” the girl into having sex, but she was legally unable to consent, due to her age.

He was also aware how old she was from an early stage, despite her falsely claiming her date of birth was in 1994, to give her user access to Facebook.

Miss Kidd said the Lee Smithy Facebook account was traced to Wiseman’s address and, despite his initial denials, when first arrested and interviewed, he indicated ‘guilt’ at his first crown court appearance.

Wiseman, now 25, of Beech Avenue, Murton, County Durham, admitted raping the girl and possessing an indecent photograph of a child.

John Elliott, mitigating, told the court Wiseman, who has no previous convictions, feels, “sick, sorry and ashamed of himself.”

He said it was to be one last fling before settling down with his girlfriend.

Mr Elliott told the court: “He became embroiled in the fantasy world of Facebook, where belief can be suspended.

“He became so fixated with his intention that he went on to commit this really dreadful crime.”

Jailing him for six years and three months, Judge Robert Adams told Wiseman his actions have had a “devastating effect” on the girl.

The judge also made him subject to a sexual offences prevention order, restricting future contact between Wiseman and under-16-year-olds, and registration as a sex offender, both for life.