The boss of a Burton charity which helps victims of rape and sexual abuse has said she is "not surprised" that a paedophile avoided jail for a sex offence involving a 14-year-old girl.
Tracey Hardie, chief executive of SARAC, (Sexual Abuse Rape Advice Centre) spoke out after George Ingledew received a suspended sentence for his crime.
She said: "I am not surprised at the sentence. We hear from clients time and time again that they had a very low sentence for criminals who ruin people's lives. It is not a new phenomenon."
The 59-year-old, of Princess Street, had previously admitted a charge of attempting to cause a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity in April this year.
He had also pleaded guilty to three offences of attempting to engage in sexual communications with underage girls on the internet on dates in April and July, also this year.
Ingledew was given a 12-month jail sentence at Stafford Crown Court suspended for two years and ordered to attend a rehabilitation activity.
He will also appear on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.
Meanwhile, Staffordshire Police said it would not distribute his mugshot due to the force's policy that criminals must receive a minimum two-year jail sentence before photographs are released.
Paedophile vigilante group Keeping Kids Safe had arranged to meet up with Ingledew who thought he had been sharing messages with an underage girl – but was in reality confronted by decoys planted by the group in an attempt to snare him.
Meanwhile, an NSPCC spokesman said: "Ingledew is clearly a dangerous individual who thought he had been grooming a 14-year-old girl.
"This is yet another example of predatory offenders using the internet. It is therefore vital that parents speak to their children about these dangers and about how to stay safe online.
"Vital information about how grooming happens and how to talk about difficult topics is available on the NSPCC website.
"Online safety is one of the biggest child protection challenges we face and law enforcement, government and web providers must do more to protect young people using the internet."
Anyone concerned about a child can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000, while children and young people can contact Childline free and confidentially on 0800 1111 or via www.childline.org.uk
A spokesman for the judiciary service would not comment on the sentence, but said judges went to great lengths to carefully explain the reason for their sentence in court, while every case will be different.
They added that judges made a decision based on the facts of each case and within relevant sentencing guidelines.