November 2017

Paedophile tried to meet ’13-year-old girl’ at Poundland

A pervert was arrested after turning up to a Poundland store believing he was about to meet a 13-year-old he had exchanged sexually explicit Facebook messages with.

A court heard Martin Croft had in fact been in contact with a woman who had set up a fake Facebook profile to test if he was a paedophile.

Leeds Crown Court heard the woman set up the profile in the hope of disproving Croft had a sexual interest in young girls in order to stop rumours in his local community.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said the woman set up the Facebook profile and pretended to be a 13-year-old girl called Sammy.

Croft initially exchanged innocent messages but the conversation later turned sexual. Croft then made arrangements to meet the ‘youngster’ at a Poundland store.

He told her not to wear any underwear and offered to take her to Burger King. Croft turned up for the meeting but was instead met by West Yorkshire Police officers and arrested.

Indecent images were also found on his mobile phone and laptop. Croft, of Moor View, Crigglestone, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a girl into sexual activity, attempting to meet a girl following grooming and two offences of making indecent images of a child.

Croft, of Moor View, Crigglestone, Wakefield, was ordered to take part in a three-year sex offender treatment programme.