Jailed man claims he was left ‘traumatised’ by paedophile hunter sting

PUBLISHED: 15:45 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:45 31 January 2020

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A man caught by paedophile hunters trying to chat to a 14-year-old girl online about sex, was left “traumatised” after being confronted, a court heard.

James Brett, 35, used a number of fake online profiles to try to talk to a teenage girl, who in fact was a woman, who was part of a group aimed at catching online child predators, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Brett was tracked down and confronted by the paedophile hunter group and police were called and Brett was arrested.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said when police checked Brett's computer they found two indecent images of children.

Brett, of Beauchamp Close, Chedgrave, near Loddon, admitted having two indecent images and attempting to sexually communicate with a child between December 2017 and July 2018.

He was given an eight month jail sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order, which checks his internet use and placed on the sex offender's register for 10 years.

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Sentencing him, Judge Anthony Bate told Brett that he deserved credit for his guilty plea and accepted he was frank about his sexual interest in young girls.

He said that as part of his suspended sentence he would be given help to reduce any risk he posed.

Andrew Oliver, for Brett, said he had a number of difficulties including suffering from depression and anxiety and was socially isolated: "He was confronted by paedophile hunters and he found that extremely traumatic."

He added: "He did not leave the house for a while."

He said the delay in the case coming to court also put a strain on him.

He said since being confronted he had now stopped using social media and only used his computer to check his emails and to access eBay.

"It has allowed him to reflect on his behaviour," he said.

He said Brett had shown insight into his offending, which now happened more than 18 months ago and said: "He is thoroughly ashamed at what he has done."

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