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