A man who persuaded a teenage girl to send him naked pictures of herself over the internet has narrowly avoided jail.
Dillon King from Hartlepool was 23 when he chatted up the underage girl on the photo sharing social media platform Snapchat, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Using various aliases, he told her he was an 18-year-old college student and got her to send him a number of pictures of herself in her underwear and various states of undress.
In one online exchange, they arranged to meet up in Hartlepool when King, now 24, suggested possible sexual activity but she refused.
Police were led to him in October 2017 when he uploaded an indecent picture of another child to the website Tumblr.
They discovered 70 pictures on his mobile phone of the girl he had been messaging on Snapchat, including 15 that were indecent, and three short videos.
Barrister Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said King and the victim began chatting after she accepted his Snapchat friend request.
In one selfie picture of herself found on the phone she included the caption 'do you not mind the fact that I'm 14?'.
Mr Hadfield said: "There were other images of this female complainant on the phone.
"The police by looking at the school uniform were able to trace [the victim] and her mother and discovered that she was a 14-year-old schoolgirl."
Mr Hadfield added: "If she didn't send photographs across to him he would stop speaking to her.
"He would ask her to remove her her clothes and underwear and she said she felt pressured to send him indecent images of herself."
King, of Catcote Road, Hartlepool, also sent the girl indecent pictures of himself to her.
He pleaded guilty to offences of causing child sexual exploitation, possessing 18 indecent photographs of a child, and distributing an indecent image of a child, all between June and October 2017.
Michele Turner, defending said in mitigation that King was of previous good character and he was his mother's main carer following the death of his dad when he was 17.
Ms Turner said: "He isolated himself from his peers and companions. He became trapped within the world of the internet."
King was given 20 months prison suspended for two years and ordered to undergo a sexual offender treatment programme.
Judge Peter Armstrong said he had been saved from immediate prison by his previous good record and caring role.
He told King: "What you need is assistance with your distorted thinking that it's alright to behave like this."
An NSPCC spokesman said after the sentencing: “King drew a young, underage girl into the world of pornography for his own perverse gratification.
"Images like the one shared by King don’t just go away, and once they have been shared with others there is a limit to what can be done to control where they go.
“We hope that the victim is offered all the support they need going forward, and that they feel justice has been done in this case.
“If any child or young person has found a sexually explicit image of them is being shared online, they can get help and advice on the Childline website at www.childline.org.uk”
Childline provides a safe, confidential place for children with no one else to turn to, whatever their worry, whenever they need help. Children can contact Childline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If anyone has any worries about a child or is concerned about possible child abuse, either ongoing or in the past, they can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org help and support.