Paedophile snared by hunters outside Dewsbury railway station
Paedophile hunters confronted a man at Dewsbury Railway Station when he thought he was meeting a 12-year-old girl, a court heard.
Mark Shah had contacted “Summer” on an internet messaging site on June 11 this year unaware the profile was not a real girl but a decoy set up by an organisation called Silent Justice.
James Bourne-Arton, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court Shah was immediately made aware in messages that she was only 12 but continued chatting to her and asked where she lived and was told near Chesterfield.
He subsequently asked her if she had ever had sex and sent her a photograph of a penis while asking for a picture of “her boobs.”
She refused to send him one but did arrange to meet on June 22 at the railway station and when asked what they would do Shah said “have sex if you want.”
On the day arranged he was sitting where he had said at the station to meet her but instead two men from Silent Justice challenged him. The police had been contacted and he was arrested.
When he was interviewed Shah claimed that he had not really believed she was 12 and denied arranging to meet with a view to having sex. When his phone was examined he was found to have made searches under topics such as “super sexy teens.”
Sohail Khan, representing Shah, said he had pleaded not guilty to the charges but had then decided to admit responsibility and expressed remorse.
He had no previous convictions for any sexual matters and had found his remand in custody a “salutary experience.”
Shah, 43 of Stonehyrst Avenue, Crackenedge, Dewsbury, admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.
He was jailed for three years two months and ordered to register indefinitely as a sex offender.
Judge Tom Bayliss QC said: “You have no relevant convictions but unhappily you have a sexual interest in children which became manifest on June 22 when you went to Dewsbury Railway Station you thought to meet a 12 year-old child.
“You thought you were going to have sex with a 12-year-old child, but unknown to you the 12-year-old child you had befriended and groomed having contact through a social meeting site, was a vigilante, and it was he who met you and he who exposed you for the menace to children you are.”