Paedophile hunters tracked down a South Yorkshire offender and live-streamed a visit to his home

Paedophile hunters snared an offender online before visiting his home and exposing him with live-streamed footage on Facebook.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 3:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th July 2020, 3:40 pm

Sheffield Crown Court heard on July 14 how Anton Simpson, aged 27, of Orchard Place, Masbrough, Rotherham, struck up conversations with an online contact he believed was a young teenage girl but she was in fact a fake profile set up by a paedophile hunter group.

Ian West, prosecuting, said the profile was set up by the group Predator Exposure in December, 2017, and there was a lengthy correspondence between the defendant and the contact.

Mr West added the majority of the conversations were childish but the defendant sent an image of his private parts and he discussed the contact’s private parts.

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Sheffield Crown Court, pictured, heard how an offender was tracked down and exposed by a paedophile hunter group with live-streaming on Facebook during a visit to his home.

Simpson pleaded guilty to attempting to cause a child aged 13 to 15 to look at a sexual activity, attempting to cause a girl to engage in sexual activity, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, and to facilitating the commission of child sex offence. The offences were committed between December, 2017, and April, 2018.

Clare Ashcroft, defending, said this has taught Simpson a lesson because the group posing as a young child entered his home address while live-streaming on Facebook.

She added: “It was live-streaming Facebook and he found it extremely upsetting and since then he’s been more than willing to assist with those working with the probation service.”

Judge David Dixon told Simpson: “The reality is you were talking with someone who you were led to believe was a child. If it had been a child you may have drastically affected her.”

However, he acknowledged most of the conversations were “nonsense” but there were comments of a worrying and sexual nature.

He also recognised that Simpson has a low IQ and suffers with autism.

Judge Dixon told Simpson: “If I send you to custody you will be picked on, be extremely vulnerable and you will learn things you would otherwise not need to know and effectively the community would be worse off.”

Simpson was sentenced to a three-year community order with a 90-day sex offender programme and a 40-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

He was also placed under a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.