The moment a paedophile was trapped

GOTCHA: Still from video footage taken by the vigilante group Stinson Hunter of the moment they trapped paedophile Lee Middleton

GOTCHA: Still from video footage taken by the vigilante group Stinson Hunter of the moment they trapped paedophile Lee Middleton

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter. Call me on (01865) 425373

THIS is the moment vigilante paedophile hunters snared an internet predator who was trying to groom teenage girls.

Lee Middleton was jailed for three years yesterday after he was twice caught by “stings” when he planned to meet children after chatting to them online.

In fact the 40-year-old was communicating with members of a group called Stinson Hunter, which uses “decoys” posing as teenagers to target potential abusers.

Matthew Walsh, prosecuting, said Middleton, of Moorbank, Blackbird Leys, Oxford, used the Bandoo messenger service to try to groom who he thought were two girls during August last year.

He told Judge Ian Pringle the defendant first believed he was in contact with a 13-year-old named Jodie – sending pictures of himself naked and arranging a meeting in Nuneaton.

But when he arrived, Middleton was confronted and filmed by the vigilante group, as well as being arrested after they passed evidence to the police.In a video posted on YouTube he is asked by the group if he thinks what he’s done is acceptable and tells them: “No comment, I’ve got nothing to say to you mate.”

Mr Walsh told the court while on bail the former warehouse worker tried to meet another girl, who he thought was 15, but he was again fooled by the vigilantes, who contacted the police.

At an earlier hearing Middleton pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and one count of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Passing sentence, Judge Pringle said while there had not been a victim in the case, he told the defendant this was “not for want of you trying”.

He made Middleton subject to a sexual offences prevention order and said he will be on the sex offenders’ register for at least 10 years.

After the sentencing, group founder Stinson Hunter said Middleton’s sentence was the best he had seen out of the 12 convictions the group had been responsible for since January last year.

He said: “When he turned up, he was unrepentant. He is a dangerous guy and that’s a really good result. I am really quite chuffed. It is the best result we have had.”

The Warwickshire-based man added: “He got in touch with me. We set up a profile as a girl and then we wait for people to message us.

“In Lee Middleton’s case we told him how old we were and he carried on talking. He did say some explicit things and sent indecent images.”

He said the group had spoken to Oxfordshire men online while posing as underage girls. But he said Middleton was the only one to have agreed to meet up.

He added: “The internet is a dangerous place and parents need to watch what their children are doing. These people are out there and they will try to take advantage of your children.”

CATCHING ONLINE PREDATORS

STINSON Hunter’s Facebook account has more than 124,000 people following his work in catching online predators.
On the page, he says: “I work online with a group of friends catching people who attempt to either meet or groom underage children for sex.”
Mr Hunter, who has now changed his name, started talking to men posing as an underage girl in 2009 as an experiment.
But he said he started arranging meetings and filming them when he realised how bad the problem was.
He says he never approaches anyone online – he and his team set up a profile and wait for people to contact them.
He also says the men are immediately told how old the girl is.
Michael Parkes, 45, was confronted and filmed by Stinson Hunter in May last year and killed himself after police questioned him.

 

Our top stories:

Labour holds Blackbird Leys and Northfield Brook wards and Leys division in by-elections

Oxford Mail: Oxfordshire County Council member for Northfield Brook Steve Curran

11:58pm Thursday 27th November 2014

LABOUR has tonight comfortably held three council seats in by-elections in Oxford.

Two people held tonight in sex trafficking investigation

Oxford Mail:

11:20pm Thursday 27th November 2014

TWO people have been arrested tonight on suspicion of arranging for people to be brought into Britain for the sex trade.

Oxford-born author PD James dies aged 94

Oxford Mail:

1:46pm Thursday 27th November 2014

PD James, the acclaimed author famous for her series of detective novels, has died aged 94.

Care home residents are going animal crackers

Oxford Mail:

5:40pm Thursday 27th November 2014

CARE home residents could hardly believe their eyes when their home was invaded by farmyard animals.

Emerald Isle’s Riverdance rolls in for twentieth anniversary gig

Oxford Mail:

5:40pm Thursday 27th November 2014

IRELAND’S famous Riverdance show is in Oxford to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Police performance rated good on new website

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

5:30pm Thursday 27th November 2014

THAMES Valley Police has been rated “good” for effectiveness and efficiency on a new website the public can inspect.

Baby was ‘at home with dad when he stopped breathing’

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Thursday 27th November 2014

AN 11-week-old baby whose death police are treating as suspicious has been named as Jayden Saxton.

Woman must return £293K ‘inheritance’

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Thursday 27th November 2014

A FAMILY has been “torn apart” by a High Court battle over the inheritance of a grandmother’s Oxford estate.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Thursday 27th November 2014

Have a look around our interactive back page today...

What is in our interactive front page for today

Oxford Mail:

11:10am Thursday 27th November 2014

Here's today's interactive front page for you to explore... what stories will grab your interest?

Man arrested after train manager attacked on Banbury train

Oxford Mail: British Transport police badge

10:44am Thursday 27th November 2014

A TRAIN manager was assaulted and passengers came to his aid on a train to Banbury.

Update: Pensioner killed in crash with Ford Focus on A4183 near Abingdon

Oxford Mail:

5:30pm Thursday 27th November 2014

A PENSIONER died last night after a crash in Abingdon.

Oxford United buoyed by Roberts news

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014

MICKEY Lewis backed James Roberts to come back stronger than ever after Oxford United were boosted by the news the striker’s hamstring injury was not serious.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree