June 2015

Newcastle sex offender snared by internet paedophile hunters Dark Justice

Colin Patterson

A man from Newcastle who thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl but had really been ensnared by internet paedophile hunters has been jailed for two years.

Colin Patterson, 51, is the latest person to be jailed following the undercover work of group Dark Justice.

During conversations on the internet, the sex offender asked for sexual intercourse, sent pictures of himself naked and arranged a meeting.

Tim Gittins, prosecuting, said the vigilante group had set up a profile on the website Badoo as a girl named Tasha.

“They were careful that contact was initiated by the defendant and he contacted the profile in January,” he said.

“It was made clear to him immediately that he was conversing with a 14-year-old and asked if that was acceptable to him.

“The defendant’s conversations moved quickly towards sexual matters and asking to meet her.

“He asked her about her experiences, including how he would like to teach her in relation to sexual matters, and was asking for oral sex and sexual intercourse.”

Mr Gittins said Patterson went on to send two pictures of his genitalia which was part of the 120 pages of conversation between them.

Newcastle Crown Court was told he soon moved the conversation onto the idea of meeting up, an idea he persisted with, just seven days after the first contact was made.

The meeting was arranged for the Centre for Life, in Newcastle, and when Dark Justice arrived they stopped a passing policeman who arrested Patterson.

“In police interview he accepted he was responsible for the conversations and he said he had arranged to meet her but it was just a bit of fun,” said Mr Gittins.

“He claimed he would have sat her down in a cafe and said do you know how stupid you are doing this.”

Sentencing him to two years in jail for attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, Judge Penny Moreland also placed him on the sex offenders register for 10 years and made a sexual harm prevention order, lasting for 10 years.

Shaun Routledge, defending, said: “He does not seek to blame anybody but himself and there are clear indications of remorse.”

He said he had not used a mobile phone since and had no intention of using one in the future.

He said he had previously been a man of good character and had worked hard on the shipyards in Newcastle and in London.

Speaking after the verdict, Dark Justice welcomed the sentence and said their work had now resulted in 18 arrests.

One member, calling himself Scott, said: “This proves what we do works, the Government should take note of our work.

“We are an organisation for change, we are not about beating people up or being hostile.

“Everyone we have brought to court has gone to jail and we have about 50 ongoing cases.

“We have only been running since October as a two-man team and this is what we have achieved.

“The Government could catch a lot more people if they funded this kind of work and we don’t accept that enough is being done.”