An online predator was caught by paedophile hunters for the second time in two years and jailed today for 33 months.
Kieran Burgess, 32, was previously exposed trying to groom multiple schoolgirls as young as 13 by the ‘Shadow Hunters’ group who carried out a sting operation on Facebook in 2017.
He was confronted at a bus stop and burst into tears as his ‘citizen’s arrest’ was live-streamed on social media – attracting 33,000 views.
Burgess, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, admitted 15 sexual offences and was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years in April 2018.
He was also ordered to attend a sexual offenders’ treatment programme and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.
But despite his public shaming, Burgess was arrested again last December after he used a ‘secret’ mobile phone to message someone he believed was a girl aged just 12 – who in reality was another adult decoy – on a dating app.
Kieran Burgess, pictured in 2017, was previously exposed trying to groom multiple schoolgirls as young as 13 by the ‘Shadow Hunters’ group
He was confronted at a bus stop and burst into tears as his ‘citizen’s arrest’ was live-streamed on social media – attracting 33,000 views
Investigators from a different child protection team called ‘Justice for the Innocent’ confronted Burgess at his home. They tried to live stream the encounter but he refused to leave his house.
He was today jailed for 33 months at Minshull Street Crown Court after he admitted making sexual communications with a youngster and breaching the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order – which had banned him from using mobile devices and computer equipment to contact children.
Prosecutor Simon Barrett told the court: ‘The defendant used his own name and his date of birth and he communicated with a female who referred to herself as Shannon who was 12 years of age.
‘There were several hundred messages exchanged and the decoy is pretending to be a girl of 12 years of age early in the conversation.
‘The nature of the text messages quickly became sexualised, there were hundreds of messages between them with references to penetrative activity and also indicating or requesting that the decoy didn’t disclose their communications to other people.
‘The messages included him sending her a picture of his penis, references to them being boyfriend and girlfriend, requests to keep the communications secret indicating he could go to prison if the communication was discovered.
‘He told the decoy that he loved her and explicitly acknowledged he knew she was 12 years of age.
Investigators from a child protection team called ‘Justice for the Innocent’ confronted Burgess at his home
Burgess, pictured at his confrontation in 2017, was first in court in April 2018 after sending sexually explicit messages to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl
‘The defendant was confronted at his home address by another member of the group. He was identified, police contacted, and the defendant was arrested.
‘A mobile phone was recovered from him which he had disclosed but he had an iPhone and another one placed in a safe which the police believe he used to communicate with the decoy.’
It emerged Burgess had been cautioned when was just 16 for indecent assault on two females under the age of 14.
He was first in court in April 2018 after sending sexually explicit messages to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl.
He had arranged to meet her, only to find out that the ‘girl’ was in fact an undercover decoy from the ‘Shadow Hunters’ child protection team. Investigators from other teams said Burgess had contacted their decoys and sent vile messages to them too.
But police were called again late last year after Burgess began using the ‘secret phone’ he kept in a safe to make contact with youngsters via a dating app.
Burgess was today jailed for 33 months at Minshull Street Crown Court after he admitted making sexual communications with a youngster and breaching the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order
In mitigation for Burgess defence barrister Mark Fireman said: ‘He is now on medication for depression. On the one hand he is somebody who had cooperated entirely with the processes the court set out for him but on the other hand it hasn’t had the effects that had been hoped.
‘Both the children in this case and the one prior to it were fictional children. It is a paedophile hunter case although it is plain from the person who set up this fictional account that it was the defendant who contacted them rather than the other way around.
‘This is a defendant who operates at certain disadvantages, he has been described as having autism, Asperger’s and ADHD, described by his family as someone who lives rather in a bubble. He is somebody who is really isolated he operates at a less sophisticated level than most of the people who cross the threshold of this court.
‘Despite the messages that he sent in this particular case, the prospect of him meeting a girl under the age of 16 and engaging in the type of activity described in the messages is perhaps rather remote.
‘He is somebody who is less capable of forming a relationship in person than most other people and that what takes place over the internet messaging system is really more by way of fantasy than any real intention of carrying out the activities that have been described.’
But sentencing Judge John Edwards told Burgess: ‘You are assessed as posing a high risk of serious harm to children and you are said to be preoccupied by your own sexual gratification.
‘These are flagrant breaches of the original order and a flagrant disregard for an order designed to to stop the very activity you still indulge in.’
Burgess will now have to sign the Sex Offender Register for life.