August 2016

Pervert sent ‘underage girls’ explicit photos and hundreds of messages for a ‘sexual kick’

A pervert was caught sending explicit pictures and hundreds of messages to ‘underage girls’ in a sting by online paedophile hunters.

Michael List thought he was communicating with two teenagers but in fact it was Newcastle-based duo Dark Justice

A court heard List sent pictures of his private parts and graphic messages to fictional girls Sara and Stacey.

The 41-year-old, who said he did it for a “sexual kick”, also arranged to meet one of the girls, but then cancelled.

However, he was arrested after Dark Justice gave police chat logs outlining what had passed between them.

Imposing a suspended prison sentence, Judge Penny Moreland said: “Hundreds of messages were exchanged.

“The messages were highly sexual in content, you asked for indecent images and sent indecent images of yourself.

“You discussed the possibly of performing a range of sexual activities.”

Newcastle Crown Court heard List first started chatting to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl called Sara in June last year.

List gave the ‘girl’, who told him her young age, his phone number so they could engage in explicit chat via WhatsApp.

About a month later, he started sending sexual messages to another ‘girl’ he met over website Skout, who claimed to be called Stacey and told him she was 15.

She had the same profile picture as Sara and both girls were in fact Dark Justice.

When Stacey agreed to a meeting with List and claimed to be on her way, he backed out of the arrangement and said “he thought it was best if they did not meet up”.

Dark Justice handed the chat logs they had been having with List over to police and he was arrested.

Prosecutor Anne Richardson told the court: “He said he had arranged to meet the girl but then decided against it as he had a partner and did not really want to meet someone else.

“Although he could not remember the specific chat with the girls he was asked about, he did agree that he had shown photos of his penis on WhatsApp while corresponding with them.

“He said that he lived with his partner and that she would most probably have been at work whilst he was messaging.

“He said he had no intentions of meeting anyone and had done it for a sexual kick.”

List said during one of the messages he would “lose his job, his house and his life” if his online behaviour was exposed.

List, of Bede Terrace, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was given six months prison, suspended for 12 months, with a group work programme and £500 costs. He must sign the sex offenders’ register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for seven years.

Judge Moreland said the sentence could be suspended because List cancelled the meeting.

The judge said: “Unusually for cases of this sort you cancelled the meeting and thought better of your plan to meet.

“For that reason and that reason alone I am prepared to suspend the sentence.”