May 2019

Online groomer admits child sex offences after sting

A man caught in a vigilante sting trying to groom someone he thought was a child has admitted all four charges against him.

David Cardwell, 52, of Sunnyside Road, Weston-super-Mare pleaded guilty to three counts of an adult attempting to engage in a sexual communication with a child.

Cardwell also admitted possessing 1,214 prohibited images of children.

He appeared at Bristol Crown Court where sentencing will be held in June.

Cardwell was caught out by the group Justice for the Innocent after he tried to engage in sexual conversations with people purporting to be aged 13, 14 and 12 years old on three different occasions last year.

The communication involved talking to the people he thought were children about sleepovers, cuddles in bed and kisses, the charge sheet stated.

The group said: “The evidence collected in this case demonstrated sexual grooming of a slow nature with months of chat logs collected.”

He was arrested after being confronted by members of the group last year.