Pervert snared by paedophile hunter
Pervert Thomas Birks was snared by a paedophile hunter – after trying to persuade what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl to perform sex acts on herself.
A fake profile of a girl – known as Lauren – was set up and posted on a website used by the 25-year-old defendant.
He made contact with the ‘girl’ and, despite being told several times she was aged 13, he encouraged her to commit sex acts on herself for his own gratification.
But the paedophile hunter posted a picture of the defendant online and he was arrested.
Now Birks has been handed a two-year community order as the judge passed a sentence which is aimed at stopping him re-offending and to assist his rehabilitation.
Prosecutor Paul Spratt told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court that the fake profile of the 13-year-old girl was set up and posted online. The defendant made contact at 11.30pm on February 12 and engaged in a 26-minute conversation.
Mr Spratt said: “The defendant engaged in sexual communication almost immediately. He was told on a number of occasions she was only 13. He was persistent. He encouraged the individual to commit sexual acts on herself for his gratification.”
The court heard Birks took an overdose after his picture was posted on the internet. He was arrested a day after being released from hospital.
Birks, of London Road, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite or cause a child to engage in sexual activity.
Heather Drew, mitigating, said the defendant is a vulnerable individual.
She added: “The defendant has done all he possibly can to co-operate with the agencies. He has an appointment with alcohol services on May 2.”
As part of the community order Birks must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 25 days. He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years and was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same period.
Judge Paul Glenn told Birks: “You engaged in communication with someone you believed was a 13-year-old girl. It was in fact an adult man, a self-styled paedophile hunter. You were aware at an early stage the person was 13 – and that did not put you off.
Birks was ordered to pay £500 costs.