September 2022

Pervert snared by paedophile hunters after online sex chat with ’15-year-old girl’

A pervert who tried to have online sex chat with an underage schoolgirl was snared by paedophile hunters.

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

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

Prosecutor Rachael Glover told the court how Allan, now 40, had started chatting to the profile of an 18 year old over the dating site Skout.

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

The court heard the suspicious 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 “loads” of people online because he was “lonely”, adding: “I know it’s wrong and I am sorry.”

He admitted attempting to have sexual communication with a child, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and arranging or facilitating a child sex offence.

The court heard he had been on remand in custody for almost a year.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced him to a three-year community order with sex offender treatment programme requirements, a five-year sexual harm prevention order and five years on the Sex Offenders’ Register.