Paedophile hunters snare Norwich man after posing as 14-year-old 'Lulu' online

PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:23 22 June 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A man was confronted at his home by paedophile hunters who snared him by posing as a 14-year-old girl called Lulu in an online chatroom.

Joshua King, 26, of Naseby Way in Norwich, struck up conversation and began sending “explicit and suggestive” messages for more than a week, Norwich Crown Court heard today.

After she stopped responding when the messages became more explicit he became “unpleasant and abusive”.

But King had been talking to a woman posing as a child, and on November 14 last year the group called Wolf Pack Hunters UK confronted him at his home.

He admitted attempted incitement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and was given a 12-month prison term suspended for two years.

The court heard King had been asking the “girl” to call him “daddy” and asked her for a sleepover, before the messages became more graphic and explicit.

Richard Potts, prosecuting, said the “self-styled paedophile hunters” included a woman working for them for around a month.

He said: “On November 7 on a website as Lulu she received a message from someone called Josh K.

“She replies ‘Slow down Romeo, I am 14’. It wasn’t long before he asked her for her phone number using Whatsapp. The last message was sent eight days later where the woman had formed the view the talk was so explicit she had refused to respond to further messages.

“As a result of that there was a long diatribe of remarks from the defendant calling her a waste of space.”

He added: “Information was supplied to the coordinator of the group and together with other associates he went to an address where he came to believe the defendant would be on November 18. They waited for him and he was confronted. Material was made available to the police by this group.”

Andrew Oliver, mitigating for King, said the offence was born from “his self esteem, his low confidence and seemingly issues of social isolation”.

He added: “He has expressed he is ashamed and disgusted by what he has done with appropriate remorse and empathy.”

Judge Andrew Shaw said: “You seem to me not to bear the hallmarks of a paedophile 26-year-old man. You are someone who lacks maturity for your age.”

King was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, 30 days of rehabilitation activity, and a 35 day sexual offending programme.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and will forfeit any electronic devices used.

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