May 2022

Sunderland pervert who went to meet 14-year-old for sexual activity snared by paedo hunters

A pervert turned up hoping to meet a schoolgirl for sexual activity after offering to buy her alcohol and underwear and telling her to keep it a secret from her mum.

John Vanstone, 63, who has previous convictions for indecent images offences, engaged in sexually explicit chat online with what he thought was a 14-year-old.

Fortunately it was a fake profile being run by paedo hunters who snared him.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Vanstone made contact with a profile called Megan on the Meetville app on February 6 this year. The profile, being operated by the Child Online Safety Team, said she was 18 but he was told in the first message that she was 14.

He told her she was “gorgeous” and asked if she would travel to meet him in Sunderland from Hartlepool.

The chat moved onto WhatsApp and he called her sexy and told her to go to his home and he would give her alcohol and take photographs of her.

The court heard he asked if she was naughty and if he would have to spank her and asked about touching her. He also discussed G-string underwear and asked if she’d had sex before and whether she wanted to learn.

Anne Richardson, prosecuting, said: “She asked if she was too young and he said she didn’t have to tell anyone and it would be their secret. He started talking explicitly about her being touched.

“He started making plans, suggesting she travel to meet him and he would take her to McDonald’s and also that he would buy her underwear.

“He said she could call him daddy to make it look like they were father and daughter in public. He said not to tell her mother.”

Megan agreed to go to meet him and he turned up to at a railway station in Sunderland to do so, only to be confronted by the vigilantes behind the profile.

He told police he thought she was 18.

Vanstone, of Rippon Street, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and breaching his sexual harm prevention order and was jailed for three years and three months.

He will be on the sex offenders register for life, is barred from working with children or vulnerable adults and a previous sexual harm prevention order continues.

The court heard he has a number of relevant previous convictions.

In 2012, Vanstone was convicted of having indecent images and extreme pornography and in 2018 he got 30 months prison for making and distributing indecent images.

In 2020 he was sent back to prison for breaching a sexual harm prevention order imposed for the 2018 offence.