Paedophile, 22, walks free from court despite being caught on camera trying to meet 13-year-old girl for sex
A SMILING paedophile was caught on camera moments after he walked free from court.
Callum Jennings was caught out by paedophile hunters when he turned up to meet a 13-year-old girl.
Jennings thought he had been chatting online to an underage schoolgirl he met on a dating site but Newcastle Crown Court heard he had been duped by Dark Justice, an organisation set up to track down men who want sex with young girls.
During online conversations with the girl, the 22-year-old, from Newcastle, sent a picture of his penis, a video of himself masturbating and engaged in graphic sexual chat.
The court heard Jennings arranged to meet up with the girl in Newcastle on April 18.
Prosecutor Sue Hirst told the court: “Members of Dark Justice went to the meeting point and saw the defendant.
“They spoke to him and asked him if he considered meeting a 13-year-old and sending the messages he had sent her to be acceptable. He stated they were meeting as friends.”
Jennings told police he had been “stupid”.
He pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following grooming and attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.
Recorder Toby Hedworth QC sentenced Jennings to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements.
He must abide by a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and sign the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.
The judge said it was unclear whether Jennings intended to have full sex with the underage girl.
He told Jennings: “You were informed almost immediately that she was only 13. Notwithstanding that, you maintained your interest.
“I find your interest in her, where perhaps was initially wanting company, your interest became sexual almost immediately.
“Because of the good offices of Dark Justice fortunately there never was a real child. This you didn’t know, it was a virtual relationship you were engaging in.”
The judge said Dark Justice carry out “important work” and was convinced Jennings has learned a “salutory” lesson.
He said he was convinced Jennings, who has never been in trouble before, would not be back in court again.
Brian Hegarty, defending, said Jennings had stated during his messages with the girl that he couldn’t have sex with the girl because of her age and had asked if she had a spare room when they discussed him going to her home.
Mr Hegarty said Jennings had said he was unsure about the meeting and added: “He had grave reservations about what he was doing. He knew he was behaving very foolishly.
The court heard Jennings was “crestfallen” and is sorry for his behaviour.