A Ninja Warrior UK contestant has been jailed for three years after he groomed the 13-year-old daughter of a TV celebrity and sent her explicit pictures of himself on social media.

Shane Oakden, a 6ft 7in bodybuilder and college lecturer from Lincoln, had competed in a 2015 showing of the popular ITV programme.

The 45-year-old approached the girl on Facebook and sent her explicit photographs of himself and demanded naked images in return.

The former RAF engineer even told his victim "age doesn't matter when you're having fun" and encouraged her to meet him and spend the night in a hotel.

Oakden was caught after his victim's mum, who cannot be named for legal reasons but has appeared on TV screens for almost a decade, discovered the messages when she went through her daughter's phone after becoming concerned about her behaviour.

The schoolgirl disappeared after the discovery of the messages, sparking a police hunt.

The Lincolnite reported that at the hearing at the Lincoln Crown Court, Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said: "The phone was handed over to police. Messages were recovered from the girl's phone. He was requesting she send him naked photographs of herself.

"On the phone there was one of her in her underwear and one of her naked that had been sent to the defendant. There were also communications with the defendant telling her what he would like to do with her sexually.

"He was encouraging her to meet with him and stay overnight at a hotel."

Oakden, a father-of-one, had sent the girl explicit photographs of himself as well as videos of himself masturbating, and wept as the judge handed him a three-year sentence.

Rose said that the girl was so badly affected that she ran away from home, is going through counselling and has "lost trust in adults".

Oakden admitted two charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and a further charge of inciting child exploitation.

It was stated that he had told police: "I knew what I did was wrong. It was like it wasn't real because it was over messaging."

Defending Oakden Mark Knowles described his client as a broken man who lost his job following his arrest at work and that his marriage had already ended before he contacted his victim.