Man jailed for grooming - Luton

30/09/2015

Masked 'paedophile hunters' caught a man who thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl for sex.

Neil Ivall and two women, who were wearing Guy Fawkes masks, confronted Leslie Turner in a 'sting' at Luton railway station.

The 54-year-old believed he was going to meet a teenager called Lisa Fisher after grooming her for sex over Facebook.

But Luton Crown Court heard today, Wednesday, 30 September 2015, that Lisa Fisher did not exist and Turner had been set up.

Prosecutor Neil King said the girl's profile had been created by people purporting to be from the Anonymous network. "They are members of the public who are trying to discover members of the pubic who are paedophiles," he said.

During Facebook chats Turner told the fake 14-year-old he was old enough to be her grandfather. He said he was too old for her and 'she' replied: "Shame."

He made the first reference to sex asking her about her favourite position. Turner asked if he should wear protection and if she could perform sexual acts on him. Mr King said: "This was not fantasy sex. He was talking about the practicalities." The 'girl' took the lead in supplying images and sent him two indecent photographs.

Turner arranged to meet her at Luton rail station with a cover story that she was his daughter. He told her: "If you want sex we will. If not we will not. I am not going to pressurise you at all - promise." When he arrived at the station on 18 July this year he was met by Mr Ivall and two women wearing the Guy Fawkes masks. They detained Turner and seized his Blackberry phone. The police had already been called after concerned rail staff saw the three in masks on CCTV. Turner was arrested.

Turner, of Cromwell Hill, Luton, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Ross Talbott, defending, said Turner, who worked in a series of casual jobs, had never been in trouble before. He had started drinking after the death of his fiancee on the day of their wedding 5 years ago. At one stage he was drinking three 1 litre bottles of whisky at day, but he has now stopped drinking spirits. "He is a lonely individual who was having online relationships," he said.

Judge David Farrell QC jailed him for 14 months. He must register as a Sex Offender for 10 years and abide by a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years. The order includes a ban on him having contact with children in person or over the internet. The judge told him: "You knew right from the start this was someone who was only 14 years old. Fortunately no actual victim existed, but it was your intention to meet her following sexual grooming. Such behaviour is totally unacceptable. Children have to be protected."

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