December 2017

Cheltenham man snared by paedophile hunter hasn’t attended treatment course due to cost

A 42-year-old man caught in a trap set by a paedophile hunter has not attended a treatment course as directed by a judge because he could not afford it, a court heard today.

In May, sentence on Lee Prosser, 42, of Greet Road, Cheltenham, was deferred for six months for him to attend a Lucy Faithfull sex offender course and address his sexual issues.

He had admitted using social media to set up a meeting between himself and a 15-year-old girl – but she did not exist. She was the invention of a woman anti-paedophile vigilante who reported his actions to the police.

Today Prosser returned to court for sentence but his solicitor, William Rose, told Judge Jamie Tabor QC that he had not been helped by the Lucy Faithfull trust because they wanted a £2,500 fee and he could not afford it.

Instead, he had been seeing a local counsellor, Jane Blackhurst, and had attended five sessions with her which he had found ‘extremely valuable,’ said Mr Rose.

“It has uncovered a lot of issues from his past and focussed on the future as well,” he said.

However, she did not feel able to provide a written report to the court about him and the defence would now like time for him to see a specialist psychologist, he added.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said he would allow a further adjournment but he would need ‘solid information that he has co-operated and has a much fuller understanding of his behaviour’ if the court was to avoid passing an immediate jail term.

The judge told Prosser: “You will see the psychologist and he will prepare a report. It is entirely up to you whether you co-operate or not. If you do and you get to the root of why you started behaving like this you may find there is a different solution to imprisonment.”

He bailed Prosser pending sentence on a date to be arranged.

At the last hearing the court was told that the woman who trapped Prosser chose a photo of an adult who looked childlike and created a Facebook profile in the name Fay to lure paedophiles.

Prosser suggested meeting the ‘girl’ at Guildford train station but cancelled due to what he said was family illness. He sent a video of himself performing a sex act and described what he was doing.

He then sent further pictures of his genitals and another meeting was arranged. He told her to bring condoms with her and suggested she see the doctor about getting the contraceptive pill.

All the evidence gathered by the vigilante and her partner was then presented to police and Prosser was brought to justice.

May 2017

Man caught by online paedophile hunters after arranging to meet teenage girl for sex

A 42 year old Cheltenham man fell into a trap when he arranged to meet a teenage girl for sex, a court heard yesterday.

For the ‘girl’ was the invention of two online vigilantes who aim to ‘name and shame’ child abusers, Gloucester crown court was told.

Lee Prosser, 42, of Greet Road, used social media to engage with what he thought was a 15 year old girl, sending lewd images and videos of himself and attempting to meet her for sex, the court was told.

But he fallen foul of a man and woman who have set themselves up as child protection enforcers to bring men like Prosser to justice, said prosecutor Ian Fenny.

The woman chose a photo of an adult who looked childlike and created a Facebook profile in the name Fay to lure paedophiles.

“In October the defendant contacted ‘Fay’ and made it apparent he found her attractive,” said Mr Fenny. “Fairly rapidly the conversations became sexual and he showed her pictures of his genitals as well as an obscene video.

“He suggested meeting at Guildford train station but cancelled due to what he said was family illness.

“He sent further pictures of his genitals and a further meeting was arranged. He told her to bring condoms with her and suggested she see the doctor about getting the contraceptive pill,” Mr Fenny went on.

“The male vigilante went to the train station with the specific intention to identify and shame the defendant. But the meeting didn’t take place due to police presence at the station and the defendant lost his nerve,” Mr Fenny told the court.

“The two people handed over all the evidence over to the police and he was arrested and had to accept his guilt” Mr Fenny concluded.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC told the defendant he was not going to send him to prison this time but instead would order he attends a course run by the Lucy Faithful Foundation, a charity dedicated to preventing child sex abuse.

“If there had been a real child at the other end of that line you would be going to prison for “a very long time” Judge Tabor warned Prosser.

“You in fact were communicating with an adult and you did a number of disgusting things.

“The Pre-sentence report says you do not acknowledge you have a sexual interest in children but you patently do

“I am leaving it up to you to report to the Lucy Faithfull Foundation to acknowledge your issues and address them over the next six months. If you don’t do these things you will go to prison.”

A number of secondary school children attended the hearing and Judge Tabor told them he wanted them to take particular note of this case and be particularly careful when using social media.

“Sending inappropriate pictures can come back to haunt you. You know the pictures I mean, you send them to who you think is a friend and suddenly they materialise later on and there is huge humiliation. Please don’t do it.

“You need to think very carefully what you are doing when posting online.

Judge Tabor stressed to the pupils that “You don’t know who you are talking to online, it could be the man on the moon, a policeman, or even a peodophile, it could be anyone, just don’t talk to people you don’t know.”

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