A 20-YEAR-OLD has admitted to sending an explicit image to a girl who he knew to be just 14.

Brandon Barnett-Forsyth, of West View, Horden, County Durham, exchanged indecent images and messages with the underage girl via Facebook.

Magistrates sitting in Newton Aycliffe this week were shown screenshots of the communications sent between the two – which included indecent images – sent on Christmas Eve in 2017.

The conversation came to light after the girl claimed her Facebook account had been hacked and she had not sent the messages herself.

The court heard unemployed Barnett-Forsyth, who was 19 at the time of the incident, had been diagnosed with learning difficulties, dyslexia and ADHD and struggled with reading and writing.

Robert Willoughby, mitigating, confirmed his client had signed the Sex Offenders Register voluntarily, however magistrates disagreed with an application for an order to limit Barnett-Forsyth’s access to the internet.

He pleaded guilty to a single charge of engaging in sexual communication with a child and was given a 12-month community order.

He must also pay £85 in court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.