A drag artist known by the stage name ‘Miss Gin’ had been snared by paedophile hunters, a court heard.
Andrew Way, of Clwyd Wen in Wrexham, appeared before a judge at Caernarfon Crown Court having admitted to attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child as well as breaching his existing sexual harm prevention order,
Way, who appeared on Judge Rinder’s ITV show back in 2019, was reported to Dyfed Powys Police in July 2023 by a member of a paedophile hunter group for his online activity. Way believed he had been chatting to a 14-year-old boy since June this year. .
However, the ‘child’ was in fact a decoy created by the online group in a bid to snare internet predators.
The court heard that the boy’s age was “clearly stated” on the fake profile. Way – a drag artist veteran of more than 40 years – initially lied about his own age on his profile with the 61-year-old telling the ‘boy’ he was 27.
He later admitted he was in his sixties. The court heard Way had sent a number of “highly sexualised” and “explicit” messages over a chat website, Snapchat and WhatsApp to the decoy.
According to evidence handed over to the police by the online paedophile hunter group, at one point Way had suggested meeting up with the fake 14-year-old to “do it” and sent images of his genitals to the decoy.
Those behind the decoy account organised a sting at Way’s address in Wrexham but were soon informed he was in Welshpool. Members of the group then phoned Way who “surprisingly” agreed to meet them in a public place, the court heard.
During that meeting, the police were called and Way was arrested. Way was already subject to a lifelong sexual harm prevention order at the time of the incident after being convicted at a court in Bristol back in November 2007.
His breaches, which also saw him brought before a Crown Court judge, included failing to tell the police about his new address in Welshpool, signing up to Facebook under the name ‘James Bush’ and having unsupervised contact with children on two separate occasions.
The court heard that the defendant had previously been caught out chatting online with a decoy child.
The judge imposed a sentence of 34 months for all offences.
He also gave Way a warning that any future breaches of his new sexual harm prevention order would result in years behind bars.