August 2017

Guardians of the North catch dad who arranged to meet 14-year-old for sex

This is the moment a father was caught trying to arrange sex with an underage girl in a sting by an online protection team

Raymond Matthews, a bricklayer, has been jailed after he thought he was arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.

Matthews, from Peterlee, sent explicit messages to a fake profile of a 14-year-old girl set up by paedophile hunting group Guardians of the North.

Durham Crown Court heard on Friday August 4 that in the fake profile, ‘Jessica’ asked Matthews: “Are you okay with me being 14?”

To which he replied: “Yes lol, it’s mad though. Are you curious about doing sex?”

The pervert then offered to teach the teenager how to carry out sex acts and made arrangements to meet her.

Matthews planned to meet ‘Jessica’ at the Golden Lion pub car park in South Hylton, Sunderland in June this year, close to where the fake teenager said she would be having tea at her nana’s house.

Prosecuting Jane Waugh said: “It is clear the defendant thought he was speaking to a person who he believed to be 14-years-old and had sexual conversations and made arrangements to meet.”

When Matthews arrived to meet the fictional teenager he was confronted by members of the Guardians of the North paedophile hunting group who recognised him and called the police.

Matthews, 55, of Whickham Street, Peterlee, pleaded guilty to two charges of attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity and one of attempting to arrange a meeting with a child for the purposes of sexual activity.

Police seized his phone and found he had trawled the internet searching for sexual images and videos of ‘very young girls’.

While on bail Matthews tried to make contact online with another of Guardians of the North’s fake profiles, this time a 14-year-old under the name Lauren, which was reported to police immediately meaning his bail was revoked.

Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Matthews to six months in prison.

He said: “I have no doubt that had this been a 14-year-old and you had the opportunity you would have engaged in that act.

“That couldn’t occur because this was a fake profile. It’s clear from the search terms you have a sexual interest in children and young people.

“This was quite determined and considered behaviour.”

Matthews will also be required to sign the sex offenders’ register.

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