A GIRL of 13 was groomed for sex by a man who met her on a social networking site, a court heard.
David Coulter, of Turner Avenue, Halifax, admitted sexual activity with a child but was spared jail in a “rare” step by a judge.
The 22-year-old contacted the girl through My Yearbook website in April 2009 and arranged to meet her in Heckmondwike, Leeds Crown Court was told. Prosecutor Robin Mairs said they kissed on their first date and kept in touch even though Coulter knew she was only 13.
He told the teenager he loved her and wanted to spend his life with her.
The pair had sex in December 2009, but her school friends raised the alarm after she told them about the liaison.
Coulter denied the affair at first, telling police he was gay. But when officers seized his computer they found messages of a sexual nature from him to the girl.
One referred to her being in her school uniform, confirming he knew she was under-age.
John Boumphrey, for Coulter, said he had a low IQ and a mental age of 10 or 11.
He urged Judge Penelope Belcher to take the “rare” step of sparing Coulter jail. He said a community order would allow him to receive treatment for his behaviour and make him less likely to reoffend.
The judge agreed to impose an 18-month community order with supervision.
Coulter will also be required to attend a sex offenders’ treatment programme. He will not have to carry out unpaid work as he suffers from epilepsy.