October 2018

Pervert arranged to meet girl, 13, for sex at Derby railway station only to be confronted by paedophile hunters

A pervert turned up at Derby railway station thinking he was meeting a 13-year-old girl for sex only to be snared by a team of paedophile hunters.

Matthew Butler had exchanged “disturbing and disgusting” messages with Lexi Palmer over Facebook.

In them he he asked if she would perform sex acts on him and sent “her” a naked picture of himself.

The 29-year-old of Lime Grove, Draycott, asked if she had any brothers and sisters telling her he was bisexual.

And he also sent her train times from her supposed home in Leeds to Derby where he turned up to greet her on February 11.

Instead he was met by members of a group called Shadow Hunters UK who immediately involved the police.

And just a month before this took place Butler exchanged Facebook messages with a 14-year-old Liverpool boy who did exist and who he asked more sexualised questions.

Handing him a 20-month jail term at Derby Crown Court, Recorder Martin Butterworth said: “You demonstrated manipulative grooming behaviour asking her if she had brothers and sisters which makes it difficult not to believe you were trying to recruit others.

“What troubles me is that high degree of manipulative behaviour and the detailed efforts you made trying to meet the girl through your grooming.

“And the probation service assessment concludes that you pose a high risk of harm to children – male and female – within the 12 to 15 age range.”

Abigail Joyce, prosecuting, said the first offence saw him communicate with a 14-year-old boy from Liverpool over Facebook.

She said in the space of just 40 minutes, late on December 2 and into the early hours of December 3 last year, he began online sexualised conversations with him.

“He (Butler) told him he was 28 and asked the boy if he thought it was okay for a 28-year-old to have sex with a 14-year-old boy.”

The boy told his parents about the conversations and the police became involved.

Miss Joyce said the second offence took place between January 28 and February 11 when a woman from a paedophile hunter group called Shadow Hunters UK set up a fake Facebook profile for a fictional 13-year-old girl under the name of Lexi Palmer.

Miss Joyce said: “This defendant contacted her and very quickly the conversations became sexualised.

“They were disturbing and disgusting messages.

“He asked her if she had ever had sex, asked her for photographs of her and sent her a naked photograph of himself.

“He asked her if she wanted to perform sex acts on him.

“He sent her messages about meeting up in Derby and sent her train times from Leeds (where Lexi purported to be from) and Derby.

“On February 11 he turned up at Derby railway station to meet her where instead he was met by a gang from Shadow Hunters UK.”

Miss Joyce said the police became involved and interviewed Butler who told them he did not have a sexual interest in children.

However, he later pleaded guilty to attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

As well as the jail term Butler was handed a sexual harm prevention order.