July 2022

‘Victim-blaming’ pervert snared by paedophile hunters as he tried to meet teen at Blackpool hotel

A man who sent explicit images to what he thought was a schoolgirl was stung by paedophile hunters at the Norbreck Castle Hotel.

Hugh Holt arranged to meet a 14-year-old girl at the Blackpool hotel after weeks of sending her messages including pictures of his genitals.

But he didn’t know he was actually speaking with an adult from a paedo hunting group and was confronted at their arranged meeting in February.

He was arrested at the scene and later pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

However, at a sentencing hearing on Friday a judge accused him of victim blaming and being in denial over what he did.

The court heard that Holt, of no fixed address, first engaged with the girl who he thought to be a teenager over Facebook, not realising it was actually an adult woman using a fake name.

The pervert was also using a fake name when the conversation began and accepting a friend request from her.

The conversation moved from Facebook to WhatsApp and included video calls in which he showed her his penis.

He also sent pictures of himself lying down and standing up with his penis exposed and asked what she thought about meeting up.

They arranged to meet up at the hotel but was confronted by the woman and then arrested when police arrived.

The court heard that Holt has 19 previous convictions for 43 offences including harassment offences against his own sister.

Despite that leading to a restraining order, he was found to still be living with her in Thornton-Cleveleys when police came to speak with him.

Sentencing, Judge Darren Preston said Holt has a history of poor compliance with the probation services and that there was “little or no chance you would co-operate with a non-custodial sentence”. Of his interview with the author of a pre-sentencing report, he said: “It’s quite clear you fail to accept responsibility fully for you actions. “

Holt was jailed for 11 months, issued with a five year sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) and 10 years of notification requirements, often known as signing the sex offenders register.

The SHPO places limits on his internet use, including banning him from having any internet-connected device without informing police and forbidding him from deleting any browsing history.