June 2018

Online child sex offender was snared by paedophile hunters

A pervert who engaged two profiles he thought were 13-year-old girls in lewd sexual online chat has been sentenced by a judge.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Steven William Hodgson was snared by members of two paedophile hunting groups.

Members of Soloceptors and Rising Against Online Predators posed on a social networking site as 12 and 13-year-old girls and announced those ages as he initiated chat. But during March this year, the 48-year-old laundry worker engaged the pair in graphic sexual conversation.

He was confronted at his parents’ Cleator Moor home by the teams, who live-streamed their encounter before police attended.

Hodgson, now of Brewery Street, Barrow, had been forced to move out of their house, had taken responsibility for the offences and expressed genuine remorse and regret.

A man with no previous convictions, he admitted two offences of attempted sexual communication with a child.

Recorder Ciaran Rankin imposed a three-year community order today (WED).

Hodgson must abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely, sign the sex offenders’ register for five years and complete a treatment course and rehabilitation.