October 2016

Convicted paedophile, 40, is jailed after being caught by Dark justice

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A paedophile caught out by Dark Justice ‘bent his phone like a banana’ to destroy evidence and fought ‘like a pitbull’ when he was confronted in the street, one of the campaigners said.

Richard Hewitt, 40, drove 200 miles from Cheshire to Newcastle thinking he was going to meet a 13-year-old girl after he made contact on a teen chat room.

He had asked the girl called ‘Jessie’ for naked selfies and sent her Whatsapp messages asking for sex, telling her ‘I will be your first’.

Hewitt, who has been subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) since 2007, did not realise the profile was a fake, set up by Dark Justice.

The group has been running for two years this month and has led to 64 people being arrested.

When Hewitt – who had claimed to be 22 – arrived in Newcastle in August, the group blocked in his car to stop him leaving. 

The campaigners said he ‘absolutely flipped’ when they stopped him and tried to smash his phone to destroy evidence.

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One of the campaigners suffered a bite injury to the arm and the other a suspected dislocated thumb. 

They said: ‘He looks like a chihuahua, but he fought like a pitbull.’

The 40-year-old asked the girl whether she would 'be ready' for her first time by WhatsApp

The 40-year-old asked the girl whether she would ‘be ready’ for her first time by WhatsApp

He later asked the girl whether she could send him naked selfies - he turned violent when he was met by Dark Justice campaigners 

He later asked the girl whether she could send him naked selfies – he turned violent when he was met by Dark Justice campaigners 

Hewitt, who has 26 offences on his record, admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and breaching his SOPO.

The 40-year-old served a two-year jail term in 2010 after he sexually assaulted an under age girl in the street and warned police he would ‘come looking for her’ if she told police.   

Judge Robert Adams jailed him for two years, saying Hewitt had a ‘bad record for sexual offending’. 

The judge told him: ‘You arranged to meet her in Newcastle, you drove to Newcastle, you told her it would be OK, you would be her first.

‘When you got here you sent a picture of yourself driving as you approached.

‘Your vehicle was trapped by members of Dark Justice to stop you from driving away.

‘You became agitated and tried to damage your own phone, knowing what might be on it.

‘There is an obvious risk of you committing further offences, as demonstrated by your repeated offending.

‘You have a very bad record for sexual offending generally. The 13-year-old girl in fact did not exist. We do not know what precisely you would have done.’ 

Hewitt sent a message to the girl while he was driving to Newcastle with a picture of his face

Hewitt sent a message to the girl while he was driving to Newcastle with a picture of his face

Hewitt, from Great Sutton, Ellesmere Port, appeared in court via a prison videolink. 

During the sentencing, he mumbled ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I need help’ until the judge told him to stop interrupting.

Outside court, Dark Justice activist ‘Scott’ said he and his counterpart ‘Callum’ were injured in a struggle during the consultation, although police did not charge Hewitt with any offence of violence.

He said: ‘We were on a chat room and he popped up and straight away messaging us, saying ‘I would like to meet you’.

‘He travelled up the same day.’ 

Scott said: ‘He snapped his own phone and bent it like a banana, trying to destroy the evidence.

‘He went crazy, he absolutely flipped out.

‘He looks like a chihuahua, but he fought like a pitbull.

‘He tried to take my phone. I was a bit shocked at the time. I wasn’t scared, more angry.

‘We have been spat on, but never anything like this.

December 2010

Paedophile jailed for attacking schoolgirl

A PAEDOPHILE has been jailed after he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old school girl in Runcorn.

Warrington Crown Court heard on Friday how Richard Hewitt, of Hinderton Road, Birkenhead, followed the girl as she walked home from school in June, grabbed her and tried to kiss her.

The 34-year-old exposed himself before touching her and then letting her go.

Oliver King, prosecuting, said: “She went to her sister’s friend’s house. Her friend said she was shaken and crying.”

The friend called the police and Hewitt was arrested and interviewed.

He told officers he had received an anonymous text from a woman asking to meet for sex and that he went but felt uncomfortable with the situation and left.

Judge Thomas Teague said: “This was a serious offence and the court must consider the question of dangerousness.

“This matter is particularly grave and I have to decide whether you pose a danger to the public.

“You displayed all the hallmarks of a confirmed pederast. You have no insight into your depraved tendencies.”

Hewitt was convicted of downloading indecent images of a child in 2007, which resulted in him being placed on the sex offenders’ register and being handed a community order.

He also breached his sex offenders’ prevention order after he failed to notify police about a change of address from Chester to Birkenhead between October 2009 and June this year.

David Watson, defending, said: “On the face of it I think he’s dangerous but it’s likely this was an offence that was short-lived.

“The defendant let the complainant go about her business after a moderately short time. That’s the least that can be said.

“This offence marks an escalation in his offending record.”

Hewitt was sentenced to 30 months in prison and was disqualified from working with children.

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