January 2018

Coach driver trapped by paedophile hunters thought he was talking to a 14-year-old girl in chatroom

Paedophile hunters trapped an online predator who thought he was chatting up a 14-year-old girl for cuddling, kissing and sex.

He asked the non-existent girl in an internet chatroom about meeting up and “took the bait” when she hinted that she was “up for whatever”.

He eagerly asked her “Even sex? xxx” but the girl was really an adult man posing as a child, a court heard.

Ian Jones, 48, of Pyewipe Road, Grimsby, admitted attempted sexual communication with a child between August 11 and 15.

Craig Lowe, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that police received information from a group called Parents Against Paedophiles about Jones communicating with a young girl.

The 14-year-old girl – really a member of the vigilante group – had a fake profile on a chatroom.

Jones told her “Nice pic” and he asked her if she was 18.

She replied: “No, honey, I’m not” and said she was under 18 but he replied: “Cool. How much under 18?”

She told him “14” and he later asked her: “You up for meeting then?” and included kisses on the message.

He later sent a message saying: “Tell me all about what you like doing” and added: “I’m Ian. I would love to get to know you.”

He asked: “What would you fancy doing if we met?”

The non-existent girl replied: “I’m up for whatever” and Jones asked her: “Even sex? xxx”.

He told her: “Can cuddle and kiss and see what happens. It’s up to you, babe xxx.”

He later sent clothes pictures of himself to her. He was arrested but claimed that “never in a million miles” would he have met up with her.

“Meeting somebody under-age is not my thing,” he claimed.

Andrew Bailey, mitigating, said the exchange was over a short period of time and Jones had been stupid.

“There was, as it turns out, no child involved,” said Mr Bailey.

“He is very unlikely to get himself involved in this type of offending or any offending again.”

Jones had shown remorse.

“He lost his job as a coach driver as a result of this coming out,” added Mr Bailey.

Judge Peter Kelson QC told Jones: “You have been caught by a group, Parents Against Paedophiles. Their mission is the protection of children from sexual predators and they have set about their mission in their own way.

“You took the bait and asked the question ‘Even sex?’ You accepted that you were having an inappropriate sexual conversation with a person you thought was a 14-year-old girl.

“We are here concerned with the protection of children from sexual predators.”

Jones was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and 30 days’ rehabilitation.

He was given a seven-year sexual harm protection order and must register as a sex offender for seven years.