April 2019

Man who messaged ‘girl’, 14, about sex was caught by paedophile hunter group ‘Taxi For Nonce UK’

A man who messaged a ’14-year-old girl’ about sex was caught after a ‘vigilante’ group named ‘Taxi For Nonce UK’ confronted him and live-streamed it on Facebook.

Richard Forrest, 32, was spared jail by a judge after the court heard he admitted his offending, and he had no previous convictions.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Forrest messaged the ‘girl’, who was in fact a man posing as a child from a ‘paedophile hunter’ group named Taxi For Nonce UK.

He sent the first message to the ‘girl’ via the app FastMeet. Her profile stated that she was called ‘Brooke’, and that she was 14-years-old.

The messages began on March 13, and they were ‘quickly turned by the defendant to matters sexual’, prosecutor Daniel Calder said.

Forrest, from Gorton, told the ‘girl’ that he was ‘looking for sex’, and that he knew another girl who would ‘help her learn about sex’.

The messaging continued on WhatsApp, where they talked about sexual matters and clothing.

At one point he asked the ‘girl’ whether her parents checked her phone, the court heard.

The court heard that Forrest did not inform his employers of his court appearance, and has not turned up for work since because he was remanded in custody.

A pre-sentence report stated that Forrest is ‘atypical of predatory paedophiles’.

Judge Martin Rudland sentenced Forrest to a 24 month community order, to include 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Forrest, of Ewan Street, Gorton, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

He must also sign the sex offender’s register for five years.