May 2018

Paedophile hunters travelled to Norwich to confront man on doorstep over child grooming

An online child protection team travelled to Norwich to confront a suspected paedophile on his doorstep, a court heard.

Shadow Hunters UK visited the city home of Liam Staff, 26, who they suspected of trying to groom a young girl online for sex.

Norwich Crown Court heard Staff had been chatting on WhatsApp with a girl who he thought was a 13-year-old from Birmingham, but who was in fact a woman belonging to a group protecting children from online sexual predators.

Christopher Paxton, prosecuting, said the group had through another group traced where Staff lived in Norwich and then turned up at his address to confront him about his online sexual grooming.

Mr Paxton said there was no public disturbance but police were called and Staff was arrested.

Staff, formerly of Elizabeth Fry Road, Norwich, admitted attempting to incite or engage a child into sexual activity between September 1 and October 22 last year.

Jailing him for 30 months and placing him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, Recorder Guy Ayers accepted it was an attempt and no real 13-year-old girl was involved and also that Staff had already stopped communicating with the girl before his arrest but said: “There can be no excuse for what you did.”

He also made Staff subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.