September 2018

Pervert Scouts volunteer from Newport snared by PH Balance group avoids jail

A Perverted Scouts Association volunteer who “bombarded” a teenage girl with messages saying he wanted to “have babies” with her has avoided jail time.

Clinton Vlahos, 26, of Bishton Road, Newport, was snared by Cwmbran-based paedophile hunting group PH Balance after he started messaging a fake online profile.

Newport Crown Court today heard the defendant started sending the messages in January this year, and didn’t stop once he was told her age.

On March 12, Vlahos was confronted by a member of the group in the car park of Tesco’s in Syptty Retail Park, Newport, where he had intended to meet the girl. Gwent police were called to the scene, and Vlahos was arrested.

He pleaded guilty on June 19, 2018, to two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

“After they exchanged numbers he started sending messages asking for dirty pictures,” prosecutor Roger Griffiths told the court.

“The defendant said that he wanted a baby with the person. He indicated that he was 25-years-old and talked about the difficulties that that would arise for him should he be caught in what he was doing.”

Sentencing Vlahos to a two years community order, Judge Daniel Williams said he was persuaded it would not be in the interest of justice to lock Vlahos up.

“I’ve read the probation report, the pre-sentence report and the very helpful letter sent by your adopted father. They set out the background to this offending very equivocally.

“That material persuades me that it is not in the interests of justice to send you into prison.

“My decision also reflects the fact that the maximum sentence available to me is two years, and bearing in mind there was no child involved and your early guilty plea, any sentence would be very short and would do nothing to manage the risk you pose in terms of committing further offences.”

June 2018

Pervert who thought he was contacting underage girl snared by paedophile hunter group

A pervert was snared by a paedophile hunter group after one of their members posed as an underage girl online.

Clinton Vlahos, 25, of Bishton Road, Newport, appeared before Cardiff Crown Court and pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child.

The Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Eleri Rees, adjourned sentencing until the end of next month so that both a psychiatric report and a pre-sentence report by the Probation Service could be carried out.

Claire Pickthall, who was representing Vlahos, asked that his address not be made public as he had been receiving abuse online.

Judge Rees said she would have to make a formal application and show good reason why the details couldn’t be disclosed and that the press would have the right to make their own representation.

Miss Pickthall said she would not be making a bid and so her request was refused.

The defendant had previously been on unconditional bail but as a result of his conviction, this was changed to conditional bail.

The judge said Vlahos is now prohibited from contacting any child under the age of 16.

He must now also register as a sex offender and he was told he has to fully cooperate with the Probation Service and has to live at the address given to the court.

The prosecutor in the hearing was Heath Edwards. The full details of the case were not revealed in open in court.

Judge Rees set the sentence date for Tuesday, July 31.