April 2018

Ex-air force engineer, 52, is snared by paedophile hunters

A convicted child sex offender was caught by paedophile hunters when he turned up to meet an underage boy in a supermarket car park.

Former air force engineer Andrew Dixon, 52, of Linthorpe, Middlesbrough –  started a graphic chat on gay dating website Grindr last September with who he thought was a 15-year-old boy called Martin.

But after turning up at an Asda in Pennywell, Sunderland, where he agreed to meet the fictional lad, he was snared by a team called the Guardians of the North.

The anonymous group had set up a fake profile on the dating site to try and catch adults looking for illegal contact with children.   

Dixon, who was jailed for 33 months at Newcastle Crown court, was also sentenced to 12 months in prison in 2007 for indecently assaulting a female child. 

Prosecutor Alec Burns, told Newcastle Crown Court: ‘The defendant and Martin had a number of exchanges.

‘What it came down to was he wanted to meet Martin for sex. 

‘It was obvious the person he was dealing with was claiming to be 15 years of age.’

After Dixon was arrested by police they found a hoard of nearly 4,000 images of children – some as young as two or three – being abused.

Sentencing Dixon judge Stephen Earl, said: ‘Those messages make it exceedingly clear Martin was a schoolboy of 15, the messages make that abundantly clear to anyone capable of reading them.’

Dixon, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, breaching a sexual offences prevention order – which was imposed after his last conviction – and possessing indecent images.

He was also handed a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order and told to sign the sex offenders register