July 2018

Pervert 30, messaged who he thought was a 13 year-old girl online before trying to meet her

A Bradford man who was snared by predator hunters after arranging to meet who he thought was a 13 year-old girl has avoided jail.

Prosecutor Richard Walters told Bradford Crown Court that Anthony Myers, 30, started talking to a profile on Facebook that supposedly belonged to ‘Caitlin’, a young teenager from Leeds, in November last year.

In reality, the account was a fake account being run by a woman involved in the Leeds-based Predator Exposure group.

During initial conversations between the pair, the court heard Myers asked the girl her age and she said she was 13, giving her date of birth as January 11, 2004.

Mr Walters said Myers “did not take the way out” of the conversation, which proceeded to get increasingly sexual in nature. At one point, Myers asked for pictures of the girl’s body, and talked about engaging in sexual acts with her.

The court heard that at times during the ongoing messages, the defendant appeared to suspect he may be being “set up”, telling the girl in one exchange “you talk like a police officer.”

Myers began talking about meeting up with the girl, and arranged to do so at Bradford Interchange.

When he arrived, he was confronted by members of the group and detained until police arrived. The court heard that he said on his arrest: “Why would I be a predator when I could just call a prostitute.”

Myers, of Great Horton Road, Bradford, admitted charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming on the day of a proposed trial.

Myers was jailed for ten months, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete up to 90 days of rehabilitation.

He was made the subject of a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and must register as a sex offender for the same time period.

Judge David Hatton QC said: “Both offences were attempts, and in reality, attempts that would have been impossible as the person you were communicating with was not a child. They did not exist. It was a set-up.”