October 2018

Policeman’s son who warned paedophile hunters posing as 15-year-old boy to be careful as he arranged to meet over Grindr is spared jail

A policeman’s son has avoided jail after he tried to contact boys on Grindr but was exposed by a group of ‘paedophile hunters’.

Ian Godfrey, of Urmston, Greater Manchester, began communicating online with someone he believed to be a child, not realising he was a member of the organisation ‘Justice Will Be Served.’

The 35-year-old sent explicit pictures of himself to the boy, who he thought was 15, and ironically told him to ‘be careful of weirdos’ online.

After he exchanged phone numbers with the ‘boy’ and sent him a map, a team member and police went to his home and he was arrested.

Godfrey admitted attempting to communicate with an underage boy sexually but avoided a jail term after his lawyer told the court he was ‘set up’.

Manchester Crown Court heard that, between January 3 and 9 this year, Godfrey logged onto Grindr at 3.20am and began communicating with someone called Cody.

Prosecutor Justin Hayhoe said: ‘He had a discussion with Cody on what he should do. Cody asked him how old he was and he said 32. Godfrey sent him a map of where he lived. Cody said he couldn’t go round because he mother would go mad because of his age.

‘The defendant he should be careful online as he will meet lots of weirdos.. He then gave him his phone number and there was telephone contact between the two of them.

‘He said he didn’t want to be caught out by internet contact and could ‘get himself into s***’. He said to Cody that he was hot and ask what he wanted to do.’

The court heard Godfrey made a string of explicit sexual references before sending over a number of pictures of him exposing himself.

Mr Hayhoe added: ‘The police offers and paedophile hunter turned up at his home. Mr Godfrey said he had been drinking significantly and had taken some cocaine before talking to ‘Cody’.

‘He said he was hammered and just fooling around. He said he didn’t know he was under 16. But this was a communication with a 15 year old and he sent a map of his own address to him.’

Godfrey admitted attempting to communicate with an underage boy sexually and was given a two year community order after he was deemed a ‘low risk’ of reoffending. He will be on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

Sentencing Judge Martin Walsh told Godfrey: ‘You are a low risk of offending so you are not required for a sexual offending programme.’