EX-MAYOR Liam Temple was led from court handcuffed and with his reputation in tatters.
The Castlefields councillor was sentenced to six months in prison for inciting a 12-year-old girl to commit an act of gross indecency.
And 58-year-old Temple will be banned from working with children and his name will remain on the sex offenders' register for the next seven years.
Temple denied the offence at his trial last month but was convicted by a 11-1 verdict from the jury.
At Chester Crown Court on Friday, Judge Roger Dutton told Temple, of Fitzwilliam Walk, Castlefields, he had been guilty of a 'squalid offence' and had offered the girl money for 'sexual groping' for his own gratification.
He said: 'You are a man with a long time of public service behind you, serving both the local community as mayor and as a committee man on various charitable institutions. You are now publicly disgraced and that is, in itself, substantial punishment.
'Remorse or some acknowledgment of your responsibility would have allowed me to give you credit. But the girl was forced to give evidence and you accused her of telling lies and making it all up along with her father. However, the jury believed her, not your account.
'Imprisonment, for a man of your age, is a desperate matter to have to cope with and deal with, but I have a duty to the public. You are a man with a public responsibility to set an example to people in the community who look up to you.
'You fell short of providing a public example in this case and abused this girl in a foul and disgusting manner.' Temple waited until he had the 12-year-old on her own before offering money to grope her.
'He said if I let him touch me he would give me money,' the girl, who cannot be named, told the court by video link.
The girl, now 13 said: 'He kept saying 'I'm not going to hurt you' and 'Name your price, I'll give you as much as you want', but I told him I wasn't that desperate and got out.'
The Labour member had already resigned as a Halton councillor following the guilty verdict.
The court heard how the victim had gone with her dad to Temple's home with scones baked at school.
Temple offered the girl cash in return for being allowed to touch her while she played computer games in his office.