October 2016

Man trapped by ‘paedophile hunter

A ‘paedophile hunter’ ensnared a man at a bus station, a court heard.

Frank Garnett had initiated sexual text conversations with a person he believed was a 14-year-old girl called Alex.

But the girl did not exist, and Garnett was instead conversing with a man called Daniel Holding.

Garnett, whose texts had been increasingly sexual, was jailed for 10 months at Liverpool Crown Court.

He arranged to meet up in Atherton but the first meeting did not take place.

However, the second time he arrived in Atherton to meet the ‘girl’ he was instead confronted by the self-styled paedophile hunter.

Garnett denied any wrongdoing but when shown paper copies of the text conversations it became clear he had been entrapped.

Frank Dillon, prosecuting, said that Garnett told Mr Holding he had ‘never intended to do anything’.

Garnett, of Woodward Street, Ancoats, Manchester, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a girl after grooming.

Paul Becker, defending, said that it was an unusual case where there was no victim and no harm caused.

He said that it was regrettable that the paedophile hunter has posted comments on Facebook about Garnett which have caused him difficulties with his wife.

The judge imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

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