October 2018

Pervert, 30, caught by online paedo hunters

A pervert who thought he was communicating with a 13-year-old girl had actually been trapped by online paedophile hunters.

Blackburn magistrates heard when the hunters went round to confront Duane James Thurstance they recognised him from another “sting” two weeks earlier for identical offences.

Thurstance, 30, of Preston New Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause a girl to engage in sexual activity.

He was sent in custody to Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.

James Towey, prosecuting, said the online paedophile hunters had been alerted to the defendant’s Facebook activity by members of the public.

He was posing as a young girl called Sarah Dean and quickly made contact with the decoy profile of a fictitious 13-year-old girl.

“When members of the hunters went round to his house they immediately recognised him from two weeks earlier,” said Mr Towey.

“He was arrested by the police on that occasion pending further investigation. He is due to be charged with those offences this week.”

Richard Prew, defending, said the confrontation had been broadcast on YouTube and Thurstance was no longer welcome at the address in Preston New Road.