October 2018

Dartmouth man caught by paedophile hunters

A South Hams man has admitted trying to chat up children online after he was trapped by online child protection teams

Aaron Soper was confronted by members of a group who call themselves Justice for the Innocent and UK database after he engaged in sexualised online chats with what he thought were real children.

In fact the two girls and three boys were all decoys created by a different group called The Wolfpack Hunters, who are based in Scotland.

They got members of Torquay based Justice for the Innocent and the Exeter based group UK Database to meet Soper in Dartmouth, where they filmed the confrontation.

They also passed on the logs of his online chats to police, leading to his being arrested and interviewed.

He carried on sending sexual messages even though the decoys repeatedly stated they were aged just 14 or 15.

Soper, 29, of Duke Street, Dartmouth, admitted four counts of attempted sexual communication with a child and one of attempting to incite a child to watch sexual activity.

Judge Timothy Rose adjourned the case at Exeter Crown Court and ordered a probation pre-sentence report.

He told him: “These are serious allegations and the fact I am granting bail and asking for a report are not to be taken as indications of the outcome. All options, including an immediate prison sentence, will be open to the judge.”

He ordered Soper to sign on the sex offenders register immediately and adjourned sentence until November 9.