A pervert wanted to "take turns" raping a 12-year-old with a man he thought was her dad for £100 after messaging him online.
John Stone, 42, from Eccles in Greater Manchester, told police he started the vile conversation while working as a paedophile hunter.
The "socially isolated" man had actually been chatting with an undercover officer pretending to be a dad, the Manchester Evening News reported.
The officer posted on a now deactivated chat room website: "Any UK families up to meet me and daughter for fun?"
After learning the dad was from the Midlands, Stone responded: "Do you ever come to Manchester, if so how old is your daughter and how much to play?"
They discussed "taking turns" having sex with her, and Stone was told he should pay for a hotel room and pay the dad £100.
Stone asked: "Will she be willing to do this with a stranger? I don't like the idea of force."
He later said: "This would be my first time doing this, heart is racing."
A meeting never happened, and Stone was later tracked down by police and arrested.
When police analysed his computer they also found 19 indecent images of children, as well as an extreme pornographic image.
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During his interview with officers, Stone claimed he'd been acting as a paedophile hunter, and had been speaking to people to try and identify them.
But he accepted he'd not asked any questions to help identify the other person, and had made no reports.
Stone, who was suffering from "major depression", avoided jail.
A judge accepted his intention to meet the girl for sex was "naive and unrealistic". and it "bordered on fantasy".
Manchester Crown Court heard the chats lasted over a few days in August 2017.
The conversations stopped for months after the officer was "taken off deployment" due to being on sick leave.
Stone had messaged the officer saying "guess this isn't going to happen", prosecutor Helen Longworth said.
The officer logged back into the chat nearly a year later, and Stone was arrested in August 2019 after "technical enquiries" were made.
Stone only had one meaningful relationship which was mainly conducted over the internet, with the pair last meeting up physically in 2016.
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He lives with his parents and is a carer for them, the court heard.
Stone suffers from major depression and other health issues, and was described as posing a "low likelihood of re-offending".
Appealing for him to be spared jail, Kate Blackwell QC said: "These are serious matters, and they will cause the court concern to ensure these matters are not repeated in the future.
"This is a very real opportunity here to rehabilitate this man."
The judge, Recorder Ben Douglas-Jones QC, said a suspended sentence would be a "significant punishment".
It would help to rehabilitate Stone and "better protect the public", he said.
Stone was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.
He was ordered to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days, and observe a curfew from 7pm to 6am for six months.
A sexual harm prevention order was also passed, to last seven years.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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