Paedophile hunters in Hampshire have been using social media and messaging apps to snare potential child groomers.
Hunters create social media accounts to pose as underage children and wait for potential paedophiles to get in touch.
They then catch their targets by agreeing to meet the groomer where they then confront the suspect on camera and call the police.
Here are 10 paedophiles that have been entrapped by hunters in Hampshire in the last four years.
Tony Morriss also known as Tony Lamport, was caught on October 23 2019 outside Basingstoke Hospital, by paedophile hunters working under the SKO – Safeguarding Kids Online banner.
“A decoy person from a paedophile hunter group set themself up online. Sexual images was sent (to them),” said prosecuter David Fossler at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court.
“Arrangements were made for Mr Morriss to meet the 14-year-old. He turned up and the decoys turned up.”
It was also said that Morriss had told the girl that he would take her into the woods, rape her and sexually assault her.
He also said that he has “messaged loads of girls, young girls and asked them to meet me but I’ve never actually met them.”
The 51 year-old travelled 400 miles to Scotland thinking he was going to meet a teenager he had been speaking to online.
But when he arrived at the destination, ‘Kelly’ was not there.
The girl who he thought he had been talking to was instead an adult from a group called ‘Rising Against Online Predators’, which describes itself as a “team who endeavour to take as many people who sexually exploit children online off the streets to make it a better place for children to grow up.”
On August 21, Mace was jailed for 30 months for the incident.
Back in June 2017 Sam Dallow was stung by a paedophile hunter who pretended to be a 14-year-old girl.
A meeting was arranged and Dallow was confronted in a railway station car park by campaigner Shane Brannigan.
Dallow, of 6th Battalion The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, was based in Tidworth Barracks.
He was sentenced to two years in prison at Winchester Crown Court on June 8 2017 after previously admitting attempting to meet a teenage girl with the intention of committing sexual assault against a child.
In September 2019 Vijay Barretto, 49, was snared by a group of paedophile hunters when he tried to meet the person behind an adult account after messaging people he believed were children.
Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court heard on how Barretto thought he was messaging two 13-year-olds and one 12-year-old when he asked: “I want to be naked with you?” and “Will you have my children?”.
Barretto, who lived in Elizabeth Road in Basingstoke when the offences were committed, was spared jail and was given an 18-month community order, including 35 rehabilitation activity days and 200 hours of unpaid work.
According to the prosecution, Barretto had sent messages between November 30 and December 26, 2017 using “the type of language the Crown says is wholly inappropriate”.
Parker arranged to meet a “13-year-old boy” at a theme park after grooming him through an online dating app.
The 41-year-old later bought tickets for the pair to go to Thorpe Park and sent messages to the boy’s profile saying he wanted to “kiss, cuddle and hold hands” with him after meeting him on Grindr.
But the 13-year-old’s profile was actually a fake – run by an adult working for paedophile hunter group Child Safe UK.
Parker, a former Red Funnell ferry officer, was arrested by police and pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to facilitate a sexual offence against a child.
At Southampton Crown Court, Novermeber 2019, Parker was given a suspended sentence.
In sentencing, Judge Gary Burrell QC said Parker’s case was unusual.
He said: “Throughout the conversation you do not try to promote messages of a sexual nature and you do not request sexual pictures or send any yourself. This is unusual [in these cases].”
Parker, previously of Holbury, near Southampton, but now of Picket Twenty Way, Andover, was sentenced to a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to complete 55 days of rehabilitation activity requirement, pay £600 in court costs and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.
Callum Lee Bates
Callum Lee Bates, from Andover, appeared at Winchester Crown Court during April 2018 after pleading guilty to sexual grooming.
Bates was arrested on 2 January 2018 after he had arranged to meet a ‘nine-year-old boy called Dylan’ at Andover railway station, only to be confronted by self-styled ‘paedophile hunters’ called the SKID Group.
After further conversations Bates arranged to meet with ‘Dylan’ and the court heard on the arranged date the boy proceeded to tell Bates he was in fact only nine-years-old but Bates still wanted to see him.
Defending Bates, Lucy Conroy, told the court the 19-year-old had the “cognitive functioning of someone much younger” and was “clearly struggling with his own sexuality”.
Miss Conroy added there was a “youthful naivety” to the messages sent. She said: “When he was told that the age of the boy he was speaking to was 14-years-old, he replied by comparing it to Romeo and Juliet.”
In sentencing Judge Cutler CBE said it was clear Bates is a “highly vulnerable person” but added “you have much to give and there is a bright future and with the right help and guidance you can achieve this.”
Bates was given a three-year community order and had to take part in 60 rehabilitation activity days. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for five years and a sexual harm prevention order was made for five years.
The 27-year-old was first arrested when a 11-year-old’s mother discover sexually explicit messages on the girl’s phone.
But after collecting the messages as evidence, and having conducted a police interview, officers released Dunn under investigation for more than a year.
In the meantime, Dunn arranged to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old schoolgirl after graphic conversation about sex.
But the online profile was actually operated by a paedophile hunter group, who handed him into the police.
Dunn pleaded guilty to one count of sexual communication with a child and one count of attempting to meet an underage girl after grooming.
He was sentenced to 10 months in prison, given a 10 year sexual harm prevention order, barred from working with children and made the subject of notification requirements for 10 years.
Andrew Portelli sent inappropriate messages to a member of an online paedophile hunter group, who was posing as a 14-year-old girl.
He sent messages inviting the girl to shower with him before arranging a meeting at an Aldi car park in Southampton.
But when the 49-year-old arrived, he was confronted by the paedophile hunters behind the fake profile.
Portelli was given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to sending inappropriate messages to an underage girl.
Sentencing him to a six-month suspended prison term, Judge Nicholas Rowland accepted submissions from both the prosecution and defence that the messages were not as serious as other similar cases.
He added: “There is no offence included of meeting a child after sexual grooming, but it seems to me an aggravating feature in this case.
“I cannot ignore the fact you did intent to meet the 14-year-old, following what has been described as ‘flirtatious’ messages.”
Portelli was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and made to sign the sex offenders register, both for seven years.
He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.
Terry Roberts, 58, sent a naked photo to what he believed was a 14-year-old boy, before attempting to meet him at Southampton Sports Centre.
But Roberts was actually talking, through an online dating app, to members of the ‘paedophile hunter’ group TRAP.
And when he went to the meeting, he was confronted by TRAP ‘hunter’ Stephen Dure.
The court heard how Roberts, on the dating app, began messaging Dure’s false account, and “within six messages”, Dure had informed Roberts, of Plaitford Walk, that he was under-age.
Within 36 hours, Roberts had sent Dure’s account a naked photo of himself, and asked to meet, adding “we can take it at your pace, maybe we will have a kiss”, prosecuting barrister Giles Bedloe told the court.
Sentencing Roberts for attempting to meet a child for sexual activity, judge Nicholas Rowland said: “You didn’t know that (it was not a 14-year-old boy) and you turned up at the meeting with the intention of sexual activity.”
Roberts was given a 21-month prison term.
Robert Babey thought he was messaging a 14 year old boy on dating app Grindr – but when he went to meet him Babey was confronted by Stephen Dure – the man behind Southampton-based group TRAP.
A video of Babey, 68, was captured by Mr Dure and when arrested by police, the 68 year old was found in possession of sex toys.
Babey sent an indecent image of himself and arranged to meet him before his encounter with Mr Dure.
The court heard that Babey had two previous convictions for having indecent assault on children under the age of 16, including in 2009 when he paid a 15 year old £50 to perform a sex act on him.
A pre-sentence report on Babey found that he viewed “sexual activity with a minor as ok”.
It also added that Babey was a serious threat to children.
Babey, of Graham Road, Eastleigh, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment
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