March 2018

‘Paedophile hunters’ catch out Ilkeston pervert live on Facebook

Self-styled ‘paedophile hunters’ posing as a 12-year-old girl called Tia snared a Derbyshire pervert who groomed and arranged to meet her at a park.

The group carried out the sting and then streamed it live over Facebook as they led Simon Briggs right into their trap.

The 38-year-old, of Ilkeston, befriended the pre-teen before asking “her” to send him sexual images and video of herself.

He also sent “Tia” messages asking her to carry out sex acts never suspecting he was being set up by the group, called Keeping Kids Safe.

Now he has been handed a suspended prison term due to his learning difficulties, lack of previous convictions, early guilty plea and because no sexual activity actually took place.

Recorder Martin Hurst told Briggs, of Norman Road: “Some people might say I have been lenient with you but if you engage in this type of sexual behaviour again it will be prison next time.”

Mark Knowles prosecuting at Derby Crown Court, sitting at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, said: “This defendant was captured by a group called Keeping Kids Safe who are a group of individuals that systematically go around creating fake online profiles pretending to be young girls typically aged 12 to 14.

“Mr Briggs started communicating with two of their fake profiles, one a girl called Kirsty who purported to be 14 and other called Tia who purported to be 12.

“During the conversations, which went on for six days, the defendant made various sexual requests which were of a grooming nature to Tia.

“Arrangements were made for Tia to meet this defendant at Queen’s Park, in Chesterfield, and this led to an incident where he was confronted by the group who streamed the conversation on Facebook.

“He was told by them to remain where he was while they called the police who arrived at 6.50pm, viewed the material and arrested him.

“He said he was merely there to meet a 13-year-old girl who was a friend but when he was interviewed by the police he gave ‘no comment’ answers.”

Briggs pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to incite a girl to engage in sexual activity

“The confrontation was streamed live on Facebook and that has had an effect on Mr Briggs.

“His pre-sentence report puts him as low risk of reoffending in a sexualised nature.”

As well as the 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, Recorder Hurst handed Briggs a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and made him sign the sex offender’s register for 10 years.