A Jehovah's Witness who groomed a girl has walked free from court.
Richard Ogilvie was given a suspended prison sentence after a judge ruled his conduct was 'bad, but not as bad as some cases we see before these courts'.
The victim's father said he 'understands and accepts' the sentence and hopes the sex offender treatment Ogilvie receives will prevent another child and family suffering at his hands.
"My daughter is damaged," the father added. "But with the help of our friends and family we will make her better."
Ogilvie, 32, of Scott Grove, Hartlepool, was convicted last month by a jury at Teesside Crown Court of sexual grooming of the girl.
He was acquitted of inciting the same child to commit sexual activity.
The court heard Ogilvie sent the girl a series of texts, telling her he loved her to bits and wanted to snog her.
Christine Egerton, defending, said in mitigation: "He has been punished by the loss of his job, and the knowledge of the conviction by those in his community.