A 26-year-old man who sent a girl of 11 graphic sexual messages on Facebook and kissed her in a graveyard has been sentenced to a three-year community order.

Tyler Toothill was arrested after the child was overheard in the school playground talking about her much older boyfriend, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Toothill, of Goodley, Oakworth, pleaded guilty to a total of six offences, comprising two each of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, meeting a child after grooming and sexual assault.

Prosecutor Rebecca Young said that after rumours spread at the girl’s school, she disclosed she had seen Toothill at a party and they began messaging on Facebook.

Miss Young said that in the space of a few days, Toothill and the girl met up twice. They sat in a graveyard in Keighley and kissed and held hands the first time. The second outing took them to a beck in the town where they again kissed and he told her to be careful because he did not want to go to prison.

The court heard that Toothill sent her photos of himself in boxer shorts and asked her to message him pictures of herself but she refused. When police looked at her Facebook page, they found graphic sexual suggestions from Toothill, who knew she was 11 and made reference to Gary Glitter, Miss Young said.

When interviewed by the police about the messages, Toothill expressed his utter horror and said he had been drunk at the time.

Toothill’s barrister, Sophie Drake, said he knew he needed help and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. Nothing much had happened when he and the girl met up. “When he met her, the level of sexual contact was minimal,” Miss Drake said.

Judge Colin Burn sentenced Toothill to a three-year community order with supervision and a requirement to attend the sex offender treatment programme. He must register as a sex offender for seven years and a sexual offences prevention order was made for seven years.

Judge Burn said he was following the recommendations of both the probation service and a psychologist. He told Toothill: “What you did was just utterly wrong.”

Judge Burn said the community order was a direct alternative to 21 months imprisonment.