January 2018

‘Paedophile hunter’ ordered to sign sex offenders register

A MAN who claimed to be using indecent images of children to snare paedophiles has been ordered to sign the sex offender register for five years.

Christopher Daniel Smith, 27, of Coldstone Cross, Kingstone, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to making four category C indecent images of children aged around 14-years-old.

Kriss Ewing, prosecuting at Hereford Magistrates Court, said that on July 27, police acting on intelligence attended the address linked to the defendant after he had uploaded an indecent image onto Facebook.

Police took Smith’s phone from him and found four indecent images of children.

“The images were Category C so not the most serious images of children around 14-years-old,” said Mrs Ewing.

“If you open or download an image it means you have made it. The four photographs were in a gallery on his phone.”

Smith told police that he had been ‘paedophile hunting’ and somebody had sent these images to him.

“Searches on his phone were also questionable and included 14-year-olds and teens,” added Mrs Ewing.

When questioned about this, Smith said that the 14-year-olds search was ‘probably a typo’ and the teen search was relating to his interest in 18 and 19-year-olds.

Marilena Di Vitantonio, mitigating, said that Smith had been trying to set-up a website similar to that of ‘H Division’ and had approached people for advice.

“He then sent images to potential paedophiles but should have then contacted police immediately and let them deal with it,” said Miss Di Vitantonio.

“Unfortunately he didn’t and the images were retained on his phone.”

At Hereford Magistrates Court on Friday, Smith was handed a sexual harm prevention order for five years and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years.

He was also ordered to pay £185 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

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