July 2018

Basildon care worker travelled 48 miles to meet 15-year-old boy for sex in church car park

A Basildon care worker who was snared by an online paedophile hunter asked what he thought was a teenage boy whether he would “drop his trousers”.

Paul Bryant, 40, arranged to meet a ’15-year-old boy’ who he began talking to on gay dating app Grindr on June 14.

He bombarded the account with sexual messages and sent a photo of his erect penis – oblivious to the fact the teenage boy was actually from a paedophile hunter group known as CSE Interceptors.

Today (Wednesday, July 18), Bryant, of Dewsgreen, came before Basildon Crown Court to be sentenced for his grotesque behaviour.

Outlining the facts of the case, prosecutor Sam Lowther revealed how Bryant began a conversation with the ‘decoy’ who was posing as a young boy.

“The conversation went on and the defendant sent a photograph of his erect penis,” said Ms Lowther.

“He then said, ‘How old are you? It’s clear you’re young’.”

Despite the predator being told the person he was talking to was only 15, he continued to send explicit messages and even requested the decoy send him pictures.

Meanwhile, the paedophile hunter, who describes himself as an undercover journalist, had contacted the police.

“The defendant then sent two photos,” said Ms Lowther.

“One of a male’s groin with pants on and one of a face which matched the Grindr profile.

“The undercover journalist sent a stock image of what looked like a 14-year-old boy, and the defendant replied, ‘Cute, so no pics in your underwear?'”

The boy said no and the pair arranged to meet at around 2.30pm in a church car park in Crouch End, Little Hadham, Hertfordshire.

Bryant, who travelled 48 miles from his home, attended the meeting spot but was arrested by police.

At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, Judge David Owen-Jones condemned Bryant, who was sobbing in the dock.

He said: “What you did was extremely silly and dangerous. You were seeking to incite a boy of 15 to engage in sexual activity.

“You sent a message to this decoy posing as a 15-year-old then sending him a photograph of your penis. Sexualised conversation and photographs were then exchanged.

“You knew he was 15 because you asked him when he was 16. It was quite clear to me that you wished to have some sexual contact with that boy.”

Having pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to meet a boy under 16 following grooming, Bryant was handed a sentence of 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years,

Judge Owen-Jones also ordered Bryant to take part in the Horizon programme, attend 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay £200 in costs.

He will also be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years and be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for five years.

June 2018

Paul Bryant, of Basildon, pleads guilty to online child grooming

A MAN has admitted a series of online child sex offences after being snared by a paedophile hunter group called CSE interceptors.

Paul Bryant, 40, of Dewsgreen, Basildon, was arrested by police officers after a two-day operation by the group Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Interceptors.

CSE Interceptors is a non-profit organisation that investigates online child abuse and arranges the arrests when an offender is identified.

Bryant had been communicating with one of the interceptors’ decoys who he thought was a young boy.

A spokesman for the group said: “Once he had committed the offence, our investigators started tracing the man who at the time we only knew as Paul along with the IP address of his mobile phone.

“Our investigators worked tirelessly all day to apprehend the male along with officers from Hertfordshire police force.

“When arrested he was taken across the county into Essex to Basildon custody where he was charged and remanded.”

Bryant, who claims to be a care home manager on LinkedIn, then appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning where he admitted online child sexual grooming.

Paul Bryant was remanded into custody until his sentencing hearing on July 13 at Basildon Crown Court.