A SEX offender who asked a 14-year-old girl for indecent images has escaped an immediate prison sentence.

Shaun Ridley (36) of Centurion Way, Heddon-on-the-Wall, pleaded guilty on July 11 to inciting a girl aged between 13 and 15 to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity.

The charge related to an incident on April 1, 2017.

Ridley was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday, October 18. He was given a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also given a 12-month curfew and ordered to complete 45 days of rehabilitation activity.

Children’s charity the NSPCC called Ridley a ‘predator’ and ‘reprehensible’.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “Ridley knew that his coercive manipulation of a young girl was wrong but he pressed ahead regardless of the impact his shocking offending could have on his victim.

“Predators like Ridley need to know that their actions are not only morally reprehensible but thanks to the bravery of their victims, they will be brought to justice.

“We hope his victim is given all the appropriate support she needs to recover from his vile attentions.”