‘Lonely’ perv trapped by pedophile hunters after online sex chat with ’15-year-old girl’

Steven Allan sent graphic messages and photographs, tried to encourage “the girl” to perform sex acts, and said he wanted to meet “the 15-year-old” in July 2020.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard Guardians of the North, who created the fake child profile to catch paedophiles, were behind the conversations.

Prosecutor Rachael Glover told the court how Allan, now 40, started chatting with the profile of an 18-year-old on the dating site Skout.

Newcastle Crown Court.

He used a fake photo and name, said he was 21, and gradually started using sexual language after “the girl” told him she was really 15.

The court heard the suspect group set up a meeting with him so they could establish his true identity and inform the police.

Allan, of Station Road, Wingate, was arrested and told police he spoke to ‘a lot’ of people online because he was ‘lonely’, adding: ‘I know this is wrong and I’m sorry.”

He admitted to attempting to have sexual communication with a child, attempting to induce a child to engage in sexual activity, and arranging or facilitating a sexual offense against a child.

The court heard he had been in pretrial detention for almost a year.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced him to a three-year community order with the requirements of the sex offender treatment program, a five-year sexual harm prevention order and five years on the sex offender registry.

Mark Styles, defending, said: ‘The sex offender treatment program would benefit him in the long run and would clearly benefit the general public.’

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