A Royal Navy sailor has been given a suspended sentence after being caught by so-called paedophile hunters who posed online as a 15-year-old girl.
Kyle Catmull, 21, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.
He was detained in July 2018 in Fareham, Hampshire, by members of the group, which posted a video of the encounter online.
Catmull was given a 24-month suspended sentence.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard he was a few weeks from passing out from his training at HMS Collingwood in July 2018 when he went on a legitimate dating website Badoo.
Prosecutor Daniel Sawyer told the court that within six messages, the “girl” told him she was 15.
The conversation moved to WhatsApp and became sexualised before the pair arranged to meet at an Asda store in Fareham, with Catmull bringing a condom.
On his arrival he was confronted by members of Trap and later arrested.
Judge William Ashworth said Catmull “should have ceased contact” with the girl when he realised she was under age but had shown “evident remorse”.
Catmull, of Louth, Lincolnshire, was ordered to sign on the sex offenders register.
‘From hero to villain’ the young Grimsby sailor caught by paedophile hunters
A Grimsby sailor went from ‘hero to villain’ when he was caught out by paedophile hunters.
Kyle Catmull, 21, had just completed his basic Royal Navy training last summer when he was confronted by a member of TRAP as he went to meet what he thought was a 15-year-old girl in Fareham, Hampshire.
In the video of the sting, posted on social media, Catmull breaks down in tears as he is being quizzed.
Catmull, formerly of Fulstow, near Louth has now admitted a charge of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.
He was based at HMS Collingwood in Fareham after completing his 10-week training in HMS Rayleigh, Plymouth, and was confronted on July 24.
He is asked: “Are you in the navy?”
Catmull replies: “Yes.”
The TRAP member asks him: “Should you not know better?”
Again, Catmull replies: “Yes.”
He is then asked: “As a representative of our country fighting, you would be a hero fighting for our country and doing what you do, yes?”
Catmull again simply replies: “Yes.”
The TRAP decoy tells him: “You’ve now villainised yourself by doing it.”