Jail for sex offender snared by paedophile hunter group

Paul White has been jailed after being snared by online paedophile hunters

Paul White has been jailed after being snared by online paedophile hunters - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A man snared by online paedophile hunters posing as 12 and 13 year old girls has been jailed.

Paul White, 55, had been having sexualised communication with what he believed were giris, aged 12 and 13, but in fact were members of a group known as Innocent Voices.

Norwich Crown Court heard White had been communicating with them after setting up fake profiles on social media.

Duncan O'Donnell, prosecuting, said that between October 2021 and March this year White had been engaged in "sexualised chat" with the pair, asking them if they had boyfriends and if their breasts had developed yet.

He requested they send pictures and asked whether they wanted to see him - although never met up with them.

But White was then contacted by an adult decoy who said she was an adult woman who he met with at a pub in Upwell on March 13 this year.

He was then confronted by paedophile hunters who had passed on details to the police.

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White had been in possession of an internet-enabled mobile phone which was in breach of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) imposed on him after previously being convicted for sexual offences in 2017.

White, of Dovecote Road, Upwell, near Wisbech appeared at court on Thursday (June 9) to be sentenced after having previously admitted four offences, including two charges of sexual communications with what he believed was a girl under-16.

He also admitted breaching a sexual harm prevention order imposed in 2017 by attempting to communicate with under-16s and possessing a mobile phone without informing police.

Jailing him for 40 months Judge Katharine Moore said the spell of offending was "deeply concerning".

Judge Moore said White was a "dangerous offender" who was assessed as being a "high risk of causing serious sexual harm" to children.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said White, who deserved credit for plea, lost his father, who he described as his best friend,  about 12 months ago which hit him "very hard".

He said that White needed help to "rewire his brain".

White was ordered to sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years while the case was adjourned until July 7 when a new sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) will be made.