A 65-YEAR-OLD bus driver has been given a suspended prison sentence for giving a 13-year-old passenger a note with 'I love you' written on it.

Stuart Ramsden, who has received a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, passed the note to the schoolgirl, Barnsley Magistrates' Court was told.

Jayne Ormrod, prosecuting, said the note was in an empty pop bottle.

She said Ramsden, of Barugh Green, had made other comments to the girl.

She said the note and the remarks left the victim distressed.

Mrs Ormrod added: "After his arrest, Mr Ramsden denied ever making the comments. He said he had heard other children making similar remarks."

Gerard Casey, defending, said Ramsden had been a bus driver for 30 years and had now retired.

He said: "Mr Ramsden is distraught that this matter has come to court. It's not a pleasant offence. There has been no suggestion of repeated offending."

District Judge John Foster said: "You were in a position of trust and this was a gross breach of that trust.

"The repetitive nature of the comments made to this girl were totally and utterly unacceptable."

Ramsden, who admitted harassment without violence, was banned from contacting the girl for 12 months and ordered to pay £200 in costs.