October 2017

Charity worker told police ‘I’m bloody guilty’ after being caught by paedophile hunters

A charity worker who was caught by paedophile hunters posing as a teenage boy later told police: ‘I’m bloody guilty.’

David Walker-Shears thought he had been messaging a 15-year-old boy, and suggested that the pair meet up for sex.

But the 58-year-old was instead confronted and caught on camera by members of Guardians of the North, who had set up the fake profile.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Walker-Shears had messaged the person he believed to be a boy, saying: ‘I want you in my bed so much.’

Prosecutor Lee Fish said: ‘The conversation that followed between the defendant and ‘Ryan’, in inverted commas, very swiftly moved towards a sexual manner.

‘Very early in the conversation it was made very clear that ‘Ryan’ was 15 years old.’

Walker-Shears had been in an open relationship with his long-term partner and joined Grindr to find new sexual partners, the court heard.

Mr Fish said Walker-Shears sent the fake profile a picture of his penis and arranged to meet him for sex.

He added: ‘The first thing he said to the police was ‘I have been really stupid’. ‘He declined legal representation and when asked why he said ‘because I’m bloody guilty.’

Sentencing him, Judge Tim Gittins said: ‘It is tragic to see a man who has worked hard to come before the court at that age for something of this gravity.’

Walker-Shears, of Argyle Square, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to incite a child under the age of 16 in sexual activity.

He was handed a three year community order, given a sexual harm prevention order and must sign the seX offenders register for 10 years.