News Round-Up Week Ending 30.9.16
(Posted on 30/09/16)Share:
Vigilante Group Nets Paedophile:
The Teesside Gazette reported this week on the trial of Mark Thornton.
Thornton, 50, believed he was speaking to two 13-year-old girls via social media to arrange to meet up with them for sex. In fact, the girls did not exist, and he was really speaking to an â€œoperativeâ€ from the Dark Justice group, which aims to catch online predators.
Arranging to meet â€˜a girlâ€™ in a Darlington supermarket car park, Thornton was instead confronted by a man from Dark Justice. The organisation contacted the police and Thornton was arrested.
Thornton admitted two charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and two of attempting to meet a child for sexual activity. Recorder Richard Wright QC told Thornton he had sexual conversations with the supposed girls believing they were 13.
â€œYou plainly knew that was their age. There was no attempt to pretend that they were older. You believed you were grooming those children. You have plainly a sexual interest in children and that is deeply concerning.
â€œThere were in fact no children exposed to risk by your behaviour because there was no child for you to meet. Iâ€™m sentencing you essentially for what was in your mind and what you intended to do had you managed to get your hands on a child. That doesnâ€™t diminish the seriousness of your offending.â€