Paedophile hunters snare man who asked teen girls for explicit photos

A Sign in the Millers walk car park in Fakenham. Picture:Archant

A Sign in the Millers walk car park in Fakenham. Picture:Archant - Credit: Archant

A man was snared by paedophile hunters who caught him asking teenage girls to send him sexual images of themselves.

Christopher James, 44, had been attempting to make contact with four girls, aged 13 and 14, on Facebook, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said none of the girls actually existed but their profiles had been made up by a group of paedophile hunters.

During the chats James asked for explicit photos and made lewd suggestions. He then urged them to delete their chats, saying he could end up in trouble - but he never actually met up with the girls he had been communicating with.

Mr Youell said the vigilante group then set up another profile, featuring a photo of a 24-year-old.

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James had been asking for images and said she was "sexy" and agreed to meet up with her at Millers Walk car park in Fakenham in August 2018.

The paedophile hunters informed police and said he had been planning on meeting a 12-year-old girl. Officers arrested the defendant, whose phone was also confiscated.

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James, 46, of The Common, South Creake, near Fakenham appeared in court for sentence on Wednesday (January 22) having previously admitted four counts of being an adult attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child in July and August 2018.

Judge Katharine Moore said what James had done was "very serious" in that he thought he had been getting in touch with young teenage girls who he asked to send him pictures and perform sexual acts.

But she said she wanted to try and stop him from doing this sort of thing again and imposed a three year community order.

The order was made up of 40 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for five years and was given a five-year sexual harm prevention order, which means there are restrictions on his use of the internet.

Ian Carter, mitigating, said although the defendant was chronologically much older than those he thought he had been in touch with he had learning difficulties and was "quite socially vulnerable".

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