A MAN sent a vulgar Facebook message to a schoolgirl then tried to claim he got mixed up because he had been on an adult chatroom.

The teenager said she was “shocked and petrified” when she received the unsolicited correspondence from someone she vaguely knew.

In an victim personal statement, presented to the court, she said: “I feel angry and disgusted about the message.

“It is still having an impact on my life.”

Karl Robinson, 38, from Darlington, had been drinking before the filthy communication in which he spoke graphically about what he wanted to do.

The 14-year-old immediately showed her parents, and the police were called, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Robinson initially suggested he sent the message by accident and it was intended for someone on an adult site he had visited.

But an examination of his electronic equipment showed Robinson had not been on the chatroom until after contacting the girl.

The court heard that he immediately apologised in a follow-up message, and is now said to be “truly sorry and remorseful”.

Duncan McReddie, mitigating, told Judge Stephen Ashurst that Robinson has been “bedevilled” by booze since a family tragedy some years ago, and is in a “fragile” mental state.

“Mr Robinson is properly remorseful,” said the barrister.

“You have read what he said to the probation officer and it is clear she regards that as genuine rather than self-serving.”

Mr McReddie added: “This is a man who has exhibited a proper degree of insight and remorse for the actions he took that night.

“His disorientation through alcohol led to the sending of the message and the apology.”

Robinson, of Brawton Grove, admitted a charge of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was sentenced to a two-year community order, together with 15 days of rehabilitation activity.

Robinson was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for five years, and he was given a five-year restraining order to prevent him from contacting the girl.

In her statement, the teenager said: “I was an easy target, and that makes me feel vulnerable. I do not like to be away from home on my own.

“I was petrified if someone I knew could say and threaten this, what could a stranger do.”

Judge Ashurst told Robinson, who has no previous convictions,: “You provoked a very serious reaction in that girl, and she had the good sense to show that message to her parents.”

The judge added: “I very much bear in mind you apologised fairly shortly afterwards, but it ought never, of course, have been sent.”