Vigilante snares OAP who agreed to meet ’15-year-old’ girl and then pleaded guilty to attempted sexual grooming
A pensioner who thought he had arranged to meet up with a 15-year-old girl was caught out by a vigilante with a video camera carrying out his first sting.
Maurice Ingram, aged 66, had started talking to a girl called Jodie online – oblivious to the fact that the youngster was actually Coventry’s self-styled ‘‘pervert catcher’’ Stinson Hunter.
Just an hour after striking up a conversation Ingram agreed to meet ‘Jodie’ at Hartshill Hayes Country Park near Nuneaton. A court heard he had talked on line to her about meeting up.
But when he arrived he was confronted by the paedophile hunter and a colleague.
Ingram fled but was traced by police and eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted sexual grooming.
He appeared at the crown court in Leamington this week but after hearing that the 66-year-old, of Harman Road, Sutton Coldfield, is due to undergo cancer treatment sentencing was adjourned.
Prosecutor Charles Gardner said: “What (Stinson) has done, with the assistance of a friend, is to log on to a chat site where they create profiles and see what comes up. It was a site the defendant had logged on to before.
“He created a bogus profile of an 18-year-old calling herself Jodie who lived in the Nuneaton area, and with a photo.”
Early on ‘‘Jodie’’ told Ingram that she was 15, but he continued to speak to her and asked her to perform a sex act.
He drove to the park an hour later where he was confronted by Stinson and a friend, before speeding off.
Laura Cully, defending, conceded that the offence normally carries an immediate custodial sentence. She said: “This is one of the shortest pieces of grooming you can imagine. He was lured into this by vigilantes.
“This was a complete moment of weakness and madness. Even on his way to the meeting he began to regret his actions.
“He describes it in his own words as something he is thoroughly and deeply ashamed of.”
The court heard that since the video of Ingram’s confrontation with Stinson was posted online it has been viewed 60,000 times. Ingram is due to have a scan next month followed by daily sessions of radiotherapy.
Adjourning sentencing until at least mid-October Judge Alan Parker said: “If I send him to prison today, I might be sentencing him to death.
“But that is not a reason, necessarily, not to pass the proper sentence.
“If he had not got that condition I would not hesitate to send him to prison, but if that would prevent him having the treatment, that would be an inhumane sentence.”