April 2022

Derby sex offender’s work van trashed after being outed as pervert

A Derby sex offender had his work van trashed after a video of him being confronted by online paedophile hunters ‘S.T.O.P. UK’ was aired online.

Derby Crown Court heard how Jonathan Bradbury’s mother also had her windscreen smashed by those intent on meting out their own justice against her son.

The 25-year-old, of Shelton Lock, sent a graphic photo of his private parts to a 14-year-old girl he had befriended online during the Covid lockdown.

But the teenager was really a decoy set up by the team to snare those who seek out underage victims on the internet.

Gregor Purcell, mitigating, said: “His van had been left at the scene with the sting having been aired online and the van was, in effect, destroyed to the extent that it had to be written off. It was his works van.”

Stephen Kemp, prosecuting, said Bradbury’s offending took place between June and August last year. He said the vigilante group set up a fake Facebook profile for the teenager and the defendant sent a friend request which was accepted.

The prosecutor said she told him she was aged 14 and he told he he thought her picture made her look much older than that.

Mr Kemp said: “He started to suggest they could meet up when his mother was away. On June 10, 2021, he sent pictures of his (private parts) and then apologised saying he did not realise he was messaging her.

“But when he (initially) sent to pictures of his (private parts) he asked what she thought and during the course of the messages he asked her not to show them to anyone else. He then asked her if she (touched herself sexually) when she was bored and asked if she ever thought about having sex.”

Mr Kemp said Bradbury, of Sinfin Avenue, arranged to meet the girl at Alvaston Lake on August 30, last year. But when he turned up at 2pm he was confronted by the gang and the police were called.

The prosecutor said the defendant was arrested and a small amount of cannabis was found inside his works van at the scene. Bradbury, who the court was told is self-employed, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and to possession of a class B drug. He has no previous convictions.

Mr Purcell said his client’s mother was in court to support her son and whose family are all aware of the conviction.

Recorder Jason Macadam handed the defendant a three-year community order, with 40 rehabilitation sessions. He also placed Bradbury on the sex offender register for five years and handed him a five-year sexual harm prevention order.

The judge said: “The fact is you have to be punished for this offence. It is clear you were in a difficult place and you were lonely and you were communicating with many people online.