A FORMER soldier who groomed a 12-year-old girl over Facebook has been jailed for three years.

Wayne Redman, of Beauchamp Close, Eaton Socon, was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday, April 30).

The 34-year-old had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to sexual assault and two counts of grooming.

Redman's conversations with his victim via Facebook, which continued while he was serving in Afghanistan, were discovered by the girl's mother.

In them, he told the girl he loved her, that he would kill himself if he lost her and he wanted to make her pregnant.

Redman, a bomb disposal officer who had been on tours of Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, was discharged from the Army on April 19, an hour before the original sentencing hearing, which was adjourned.

As well as three years in prison, Redman was told he will be the subject of an sex offender's prevention order and must sign the sex offenders' register.

He was also banned from working with children and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.