July 2018

Man snared by paedophile hunters after arranging meet up via app

A sex offender caught in an undercover ‘paedophile hunter’ sting after chatting on a gay dating app has been jailed.

David Edwards believed he was talking to a teenage boy when he arranged to meet the youngster for sex.

But the 45-year-old predator was duped by a woman, from group ‘Internet Interceptors’, who posed as the 14-year-old on Grindr.

Sentencing, Judge Dean Kershaw passed an extended sentence of 40 months, with a two-year licence period.

He condemned the criminal for also sharing snaps and movies of abused children to fellow paedophiles, adding: “They are abhorrent. You should be thoroughly disgusted with yourself.”

Edwards contacted the ‘boy’ on the app, claiming he ‘loved young guys’ and wanted to ‘explore their desires without any restrictions’, prosecutor Mr Michael Williams said.

The paedophile – who had two previous convictions for three sex offences – lied and said he was 38.

They planned to get together at Wolverhampton’s Bentley Bridge retail park last March before going to swimming baths, where they would share a cubicle to have a ‘quick kiss’ and then he would take him to his West Bromwich flat.

He also claimed he was not bothered by the youngster’s age, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard on Thursday

Oblivious Edwards arrived at the retail park but was pounced on by the woman he had been speaking to and a group of others before police were alerted.

Officers seized a hard drive and two mobile phones, which contained indecent images and videos of children as young as newborn babies.

Police also uncovered evidence the paedophile, now of Armstrong Avenue, Stafford, had shared the illicit content with others.

Edwards admitted distribution of indecent images, attempting to meet a child following grooming and three counts of making indecent images of children.