June 2018

Paedophile caught by online child protection team

A paedophile who tried to get a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity after targeting her online has been remanded in custody for his own protection.

Colin Jones appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court from custody after being arrested at his home in Steel Street, Askam, on Saturday.

The 44-year-old pleaded guilty to inciting a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity; attempting to communicate with a 13-year-old girl for purposes of sexual gratification; and attempting to cause a child aged 13 to look at an image of a person engaging in sexual activity.

The court heard Jones was arrested after a package of chat logs was gathered by paedophile hunters UK Database, who sent it to a group called Fleetwood Enforcers.

The prosecution said they visited Jones’ home address but he refused to answer the door when they demanded he explain his actions.

Prosecutor Suzie Cavanagh told the court: “On March 7 he made contact with a female he believed to be a 13-year-old girl called Summer through an online dating site called Oasis.

“The girl was actually a 25-year-old woman from UK Datatbase.

“On April 23 he moved the conversation onto Facebook messenger… he sent her six videos of himself and 19 images.”

The court heard Fleetwood Enforcers live streamed the confrontation on Saturday on Facebook where it was viewed 33,000 times in the first 24 hours.

Miss Cavanagh said: “The paedophile hunters called police who arrived and arrested Jones. During interview he fully accepted what he had done.”

Defence solicitor Maureen Fawcett made no application for bail.

“He expects to receive a lengthy custodial sentence and he can’t go back to his address,” the solicitor said, adding that his home had been targeted with a brick being thrown through his window following his arrest.

“His parents are at the back of court and they will support him but their address isn’t suitable.”

During the discussion about bail the prosecution solicitor added: “There are concerns by the police that this offending will continue.

“He has been investigated for other similar offences and there are concerns this is a pattern of ongoing behaviour.

The video has been viewed thousands of times and there is a fear there would be reprisals. Police have a concern for his own welfare and protection.”

The court heard a psychological assessment would be requested for Jones to determine his placement on the autism spectrum.

Jones was remanded in custody until July 13 when he will appear at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.