June 2017

Lorry driver who tried to meet 13-year-old for sex in Beaumont Leys confronted by paedophile hunters

A lorry driver has been jailed after he arranged to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex in Beaumont Leys – but was instead met by a group of paedophile hunters.

Aaron Jones drove a van with a blanket in the back when he travelled to meet ‘Lauren’ at McDonalds.

On arrival he was confronted by The Midland Hunters – a group trying to trap men wanting sex with underage girls.

Today he was jailed for two years at Leicester Crown Court.

Prosecutor Jonathan Dunne told Leicester Crown Court how the group, formed in February, had tipped off police before the meeting.

Mr Dunne said that a member posed as a fictitious 13-year-old girl called Lauren Staples on Facebook in an attempt to entrap men trying to have sex with underage girls.

He told the court that Jones contacted ‘Lauren’ and instantly showered her with compliments, rating her as ten out of ten, despite her telling him that she was 13 years old.

‘Lauren’, who said she was in foster care, told Jones she was worried about the age difference.

Mr Dunne said Jones, who told her he was 18, told her not to worry about it and called her his girlfriend.

Mr Dunne said: “Jones was the person doing the running and the conversations soon became sexual.

“He sent her a picture of his penis and went on to talk about sexual intercourse and oral sex.”

Within nine days Jones had set up a meeting with ‘Lauren’ at the McDonalds restaurant in Beaumont Leys.

Jones, 23, of Loughborough Road, Birstall, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity between February 24 and March 6.

He also admitted attempting to meet a child on March 5 after sexually grooming her.

Paul Webb, defending, said Jones has a learning disorder and struggles with low self-esteem.

He said: “He is appalled by his behaviour.

“He said he is sure that had Lauren appeared he would have disappeared very quickly.”

Judge Marcus Tregilgas-Davey told Jones he had no option but to send him to jail.

He said: “I have no doubt that you had that blanket with you on that day because you hoped to have some form of sexual activity with Lauren.

“You have many good qualities but you were prepared to prey upon a vulnerable, naive 13-year-old girl, as you believed her to be, for your own sexual gratification.”

Jones will have to sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years.