Pervert caught attempting to meet child for sex
A pervert who turned up expecting a sexual encounter with a child after grooming them online has been jailed.
Warped Mark Wood, 51, thought he had been talking to a 14-year-old boy named John on gay dating app Grindr.
A court heard how the pervert asked the lad if he would like to have oral sex with him.
Unbeknown to Wood, the account was a fake, set up by Silent Justice on July 24, a group which ‘hunts’ sexual predators online.
After arranging to meet with ‘John’, Wood turned up but was met with the group’s founder, Daniel Hurst, who streamed the confrontation live on Facebook .
The police were subsequently called and Wood was arrested.
Wood, of Dordon, Warwickshire, admitted attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a sexual offence with a child.
He was jailed for 20 months and ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years at Warwick Crown Court on Friday.
Judge Stephen Eyre QC said: “You were on the Grindr app and you came into contact with a person you believed was a 14-year-old boy, and you engaged in sexual conversation with him and arranged to meet.
“It is fortunate that was not a real 14-year-old boy.
“But you went out believing you were meeting a 14-year-old boy, and were going to engage in sexual conduct with him.
“If you had actually met that boy and carried out the activities you intended, this would have been a category 1A offence, because I am satisfied the intention, if you had met, was to carry out oral sex.
“The very first exchange makes that clear.
“I am going to reduce the sentence considerably because it was an attempt, not a completed offence, and there was no boy.
“But it must be a sentence of immediate imprisonment.
“The court must treat as matters of gravity offences against young children.”
Prosecutor Rebecca Wade said: “Almost immediately the defendant messaged to initiate a conversation.”
Despite it being made clear that he was chatting to a 14-year-old boy named John, Wood asked him in graphic terms about oral sex.
They continued to exchange messages over the following couple of days, with Wood continuing to suggest, in explicit terms, various sexual acts.
Throughout those exchanges and further conversations through WhatsApp, Hurst continued to make it clear ‘John’ was just a boy, including references to him going to buy football boots with his mum.
They then arranged to meet near Wood’s home, and when he turned up he was met not by a boy, but by Hurst – and their confrontation was filmed and live-streamed on Facebook.
Miss Wade said: “The defendant tried to persuade him that he didn’t have to go to the police, but the police were informed and arrived and arrested him.