September 2017

Pervert snared trying to meet a child for a ‘cheeky kiss’ at Subway sandwich shop walks free

A pervert who tried to meet a child at a sandwich shop after midnight for a “cheeky kiss” was snared by paedophile hunters.

Kevin Tomlinson thought he was chatting to a 15-year-old girl when he arranged the city centre rendezvous at a branch of Subway.

Within two-and-a-half hours of communicating online, the 37-year-old told her: “Maybe we might end up in bed.”

But when he turned up he found out he had been duped by Dark Justice and another vigilante group and was arrested.

Now Tomlinson, who has a previous caution for indecently assaulting a young girl when he was a teenager, has been given a non-custodial sentence which the paedophile hunters afterwards branded “weak”.

Judge Robert Adams sentenced Tomlinson to nine months suspended for two years, with programme requirements, a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and ten years on the sex offenders’ register.

The court heard probation officers have assessed Tomlinson as posing a “medium risk of harm to children, particularly when under the influence of alcohol”.

The judge said a suspended jail term was appropriate to allow professional intervention and told Tomlinson: “You are best served, and particularly, more importantly, the public is best served by seeking to deal with your difficulties in a more comprehensive fashion.”

The court heard it was in June this year that Tomlinson tried to meet the fictional girl.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said: “Within two-and-a-half hours of the internet chat beginning, the defendant arranged to meet her at half past midnight, at a local Subway shop in Sunderland.

“He told her his correct age, that he was 37.

“He found out she lived in Sunderland and found out she would be on her own for a few hours.

“She said she could come to his for a cheeky kiss and see what happens.

“He said ‘maybe we might end up in bed’.”

The court heard Tomlinson has no previous convictions for sexual offending but was the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order imposed after he was cautioned by police in 2013.

The caution was for the indecent assault of a girl, aged between three and six, which happened in the 1990s, when Tomlinson was a teenager.

The court heard Tomlinson, of The Royalty, Sunderland, who worked in the food and drinks industry, lost his job as a result of his arrest for the latest offence.

He pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child after grooming.

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