A MAN who tried to pay a child for sexual services has returned to prison after using social media to try and get in touch with her again, breaching a court order.

Graham Huntington, from Peterlee, was sent to prison in February after being convicted of trying to meet a child after sexual grooming and attempting to pay for the sexual services from a child, who was 14 at the time.

At the time, as well as a 15-month prison sentence, he was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order, which was meant to limit his internet use and stop him from making contact with the child in question.

However, the 43-year-old, who was released from prison in May, was arrested in November after police discovered he had used a fake name on Facebook to get in touch with the girl, now aged 15.

Police, who were monitoring Huntington, attended his address after receiving information that he had tried to make contact with the teenager.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, told Durham Crown Court that he had used the alias of “Jimmy Johnson” to contact the girl but that she had not cooperated with the police so the content of the message was not known, as it had since been deleted.

The defendant admitted four breaches of the order, including using an alias on social media, failing to give police two mobile phones for examination during a check-up on his activities, deleting his internet history and making contact with the 15-year-old girl.

The breaches took place between his release from prison on May 5 and his arrest on November 21.

Penny Bottomley, mitigating, said: “I would ask to give full credit for his guilty pleas, which he entered at the earliest opportunity.

“After the first mobile phone was found by the police officer he has made admission of further offences, some of which would have been particularly difficult for the police to discover.

“He has admitted them and saved a lot of time and expense.”

Huntington, of Brecon Close, Peterlee, was given a 16-month prison sentence and made the subject of a new sexual harm prevention order.

Judge Christopher Prince said: “You have shown a complete and utter contempt for an order made to control your behaviour and restrict your access to the internet and to protect young people.”

He added: “If you breach the sexual harm prevention order you are to appear in front of me.”