A man who tried to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex has been spared jail but warned he could be kicked out of the country.
Apu Raihan, 29, started sharing explicit text messages with what he thought was the teenage girl but turned out to be pedophile hunters Guardians of the North
Prosecutor David Crook told Newcastle Crown Court that he tried to meet the girl at the city’s Millennium Bridge after chatting to her for just a day.
Mr. Crook told the court: ‘She repeatedly reminded him she was 13. There was the discussion about sex and plans to meet.
‘He was interviewed and he made no comment but pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
The judge, Recorder Benjamin Nolan QC, told Raihan: ‘This is only an attempt so the sentence I will impose of custodial length is one year or 12 months.
‘You have no previous convictions. I am prepared to suspend that [sentence] of 12 months, not that that has any practical value to you.
Your immigration status is in jeopardy and it is likely you will be deported back to Bangladesh.’
Raihan, from Newcastle, admitted attempting to meet a child after grooming.
Nick Cartmel, defending, said: ‘He is not a practiced pedophile. He will say this is the first foray he has ever had and it is one that takes place in entrapment.
He’s pleaded guilty and he’s truly sorry. The Home Office will take action and he will no longer be a resident. He will be held in a detention centre.’
The court heard how Raihan has no previous convictions.
Recorder Nolan QC sentenced Raihan to 12 months prison suspended for 12 months, ordered that he must abide by a sexual prevention order for five years and sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.
A spokesman for Guardians of the North said: ‘He wanted sex and wanted to bring condoms.
‘He knew he had ruined his life, he was devastated. It is one less problem we have to deal with in this country.
‘Suspended sentences just send the message that it’s okay. What’s the point being suspended? It is no deterrent what so ever.’