This is the moment a one-armed paedophile tried to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex only to be caught out by vigilantes who filmed a citizen’s arrest live on Facebook.
Stephen Lee, from Salford, Greater Manchester, has been jailed for two years after being exposed by the campaigners who call themselves ‘The Dark Light group.’
The 55-year-old began messaging what he thought was a girl named Becky through the social media site BeBuddy, before sending sexually explicit messages on WhatsApp.
Stephen Lee, from Salford, was caught trying to meet a girl at Irlam train station. He lost his right arm in a ‘horrific accident’
He also invited her to stay at his house and go to bed with him, unaware he was talking to a decoy invented by paedophile hunters.
After the messages were exchanged for a few days, Lee invited the ‘girl’ to meet him at Irlam train station, said prosecutor Philip Dobson at Manchester Crown Court.
Instead of being greeted by ‘Becky’, Lee was approached by the hunters, who filmed the meeting and published it live on Facebook. Lee had been caught ‘hook, line and sinker’, said Mr Dobson.
Defending, Richard Harman admitted the offences were ‘thoroughly disgusting’ and told the court Lee lost his right arm during a ‘horrific accident’.
Part of a pre-sentence report read out by Judge Anthony Cross QC said: ‘It’s clear from his behaviour that potential for harm was there, and that he had every intention of meeting up with a young girl with a view to sexually abusing her.’
He told Lee: ‘You were confronted by the Dark Light Group. You were captured and a police enquiry commenced.’
Sentencing, Judge Cross said Lee would have been sent to prison for much longer had he actually met a girl.
After the hearing, a spokesman for the Dark Light group, said: ‘Stephen Lee was brought to justice using evidence provided by Dark Light.
The pervert was jailed for two years after he was caught trying to meet a girl and admitted grooming along with fur other offences
‘This is a great result and a result we are happy with.
‘While the media continues to call groups like Dark Light vigilantes, we would like to point out that we do this only for the safety and protection of our children.
‘Stephen Lee was a danger to children and this has now been proven by a court of law.
‘We would like to thank Greater Manchester Police and also the CPS for their swift work in dealing with this individual.’
Lee pleaded guilty to five offences – one of attempting to meet a child following grooming, one of attempting to sexually communicate with a child, and three offences of attempting to cause a child to view a sexual image.