Man arrested, charged and pleads guilty to child grooming offences following arrest in Liverpool City Centre
Stoke-on-Trent pervert who tried to groom a ‘girl’ was confronted by paedophile hunters in a city centre.
Gary Stedman has admitted two sexual offences following the sting operation just days before Christmas.
The 48-year-old had travelled from his home in Tunstall to meet a 13-year-old girl who he thought he had been speaking to online.
Stedman had in fact been chatting with a decoy from predator hunting group Leave Our Kids Alone.
The group met Stedman in a Liverpool park where they challenged him about the messages he had been sending since December 7.
One representative can be heard on a 30-minute video of the ‘sting’ saying that Stedman had offered to take the girl to a football match that day, to which he nodded in agreement.
In another exchange, one of the paedophile hunters can be heard reading messages sent by Stedman where he tells the girl not to tell her friend about him because her mum might find out.
At the end of the video two police officers arrive at the scene and ask the hunters to move away before Stedman is arrested.
Merseyside Police have now confirmed that he had admitted a number of charges after the allegations were made to them.
A spokesman said: “Following information received in relation to alleged online grooming, officers attended Chavasse Park on South John Street, Liverpool, where a man had been detained.
“48-year-old Gary Stedman from Tunstall in Stoke-on-Trent was arrested and has been charged with attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming.
“Stedman appeared at South Sefton Magistrates Court on Monday, December 24 and pleaded guilty.
“He has been remanded into custody to next appear for sentencing on Monday, January 21 at Liverpool Crown Court.”
Pervert was seen performing a sex act in window of house
Pervert Gary Stedman was seen by members of the public performing a sex act – just weeks after being released from prison for a similar offence.
The 45-year-old – who has previous convictions for indecent assault, exposure and harassment – stood by an upstairs window performing the act for around 10 minutes with the light on.
Now Stedman has been handed a three-year community order in a bid to rehabilitate him.
Prosecutor Sally Hancox told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court the defendant was living in Nash Peake Street, Tunstall, when the incident took place at 11.30pm on August 20.
Ms Hancox said witnesses called the police after spotting Stedman.
Officers arrived after midnight and also saw the defendant perform the act.
Ms Hancox said: “They saw the bed appeared to have been moved to allow him to stand in the window.”
In his police interview, the defendant said he was having difficulty controlling his sexual urges as he had not been taking his medication which act as a suppression to the urges.
He agreed he had performed the sex act on himself for about 10 minutes and that he had been in the front bedroom with the light on.
He said he intended to put himself in the window to fulfil his urges and to increase the risk of being seen.
He said it was to seek attention.
The defendant added if he had seen others were watching he would have stopped.
Stedman, of Nash Peake Street, Tunstall, pleaded guilty to exposure.
Kevin Mortlock, mitigating, said the defendant did not leave his house to commit the offence.
Mr Mortlock said: “He did not expect so many people were able to view him.
“He is now taking his medication again.
“He is subject to a care plan and he is working with the authorities who will monitor him carefully.”
Judge David Fletcher sentenced Stedman to a three-year community order with a community sex offenders’ programme.
The defendant was also ordered to pay a £180 criminal court charge.
His previous conviction for indecent assault involved him going into a neighbour’s flat in 2003 and touching her bottom while she was asleep. He told police he just wanted to say ‘hello’ because he really liked her and was jailed for 21 months.
Judge Fletcher said: “Some action needs to be taken to try to prevent you committing this type of offending behaviour again. You did perform the sex act.
“The aggravating features are your previous convictions and the short period of time between your release from prison and this offence.
“There is available a very, very intensive community order of the maximum length.”
He added: “If you breach the order you will go to prison.”