Croydon paedophile jailed after attempting to groom 13-year-old girl
Adrian Stroe thought he was about to meet a girl for sex, but was instead confronted by a paedophile hunter group outside of East Croydon station.
The 28-year-old, of Taverstock Road, sent numerous explicit messages where he went into detail about his desire to have sex with her and arranged to meet the 13-year-old outside the train station on September 3.
But the pervert was confronted by vigilante paedophile hunters and then arrested by British Transport Police officers. Stroe was charged the following day by Croydon CID officers.
He pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child for sexual grooming and causing a child to view sexual activity on October 17, at Croydon Crown Court.
Stroe was given two years for the grooming offence and a 12-month concurrent sentence for the second at a hearing on November 14.
He was also given a sexual harm prevention order that will run indefinitely.
Moment pervert realises ’13-year-old girl’ he thought he was meeting for sex was group of paedophile hunters
THIS is the moment a pervert realises the “13-year-old girl” he thought he was meeting for sex was a group of paedophile vigilantes.
Adrian Stroe, 28, from East Croydon admits he is in “big trouble” as the gang front him and he realises the girl he had groomed for months online does not exist.
The pervert thought he was talking to 13-year-old Lucy Stephens, a fake profile the group made to snare paedophiles.
He sent hundreds of messages to the “youngster” – many of which were sexually explicit.
Despite the group making it clear the “girl” was just 13 and had never had sex, Stroe assured her it would only hurt for “one or two minutes”.
When the “young girl” said she still wanted to meet him, he said: “If you still want [to] try sex. We can have sex.”
The Romanian national, who moved to the UK just four years ago, also sent pictures of his erect penis.
A heated confrontation took place on September 3 outside the former Royal Mail delivery office outside East Croydon station
In a video members of paedophile vigilante group The Hunted One confront Stroe, asking: “You like meeting children for sex do you?”
He replies: “Really it’s not for that”, but when they ask what he is meeting kids for he simply replies: “Uh…”
During the heated exchange Stroe calls one of the group “mate”, to which he replies: “Don’t call me mate.
“I’m not your mate, I ain’t mates with paedophiles.”
When asked if he was in trouble, Stroe replied: “I think so, big trouble.”
Stroe, who told the girl he was 24 – four years younger than his real age – was arrested by passing British Transport Police officers.
The vigilante group flagged down the passing coppers, but had already called the Metropolitan Police.
The group described themselves as “a secret organisation of dedicated parents, pro-actively seeking out and exposing online groomers, sexual predators and paedophiles” and say their aim is to take potentially dangerous predators off the street.
Stroe appeared at Croydon Crown Court via video link from HMP Highdown in Sutton, where he admitted one count of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.
He also admitted another count of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.
The Romanian national was speaking through an interpreter.
Prosecutor Andrew Collings told the court the matters came to light on September 3 when a member of The Hunted One contacted police.
He said: “He explained to police he had been using a friend messaging app called Waplog since about August 2016.
“Apparently to use that app you create a profile that displays your picture and then, quite simply, would click on another individual’s profile using the same app, and without the need to make friends, to that person you can send messages straight away.
“[The vigilante] went on to say when he spoke to police he had been posing as a young person, under 16, and had been doing that for about a year, apparently to raise awareness amongst young people and families about the dangers of sexual predators on the internet.
“In relation to this defendant, he had been posing as a 13-year-old girl called Lucy Stephens and whilst posing as her he started to speak to an individual. There’s no dispute that individual was the defendant.”
The Recorder of Croydon Warwick McKinnon then halted Mr Collings’ explanation of the facts and adjourned the case until November 14 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
Stroe was remanded in custody until that date.