A paedophile faces deportation after trying to meet up with a 12-year-old girl who turned out to be a member of an online vigilante group.
Al-Imran Ali, 34, arrived at Salford Quays tram stop with a condom and a burger from Burger King after spending 12 days messaging who he thought was a young girl.
Instead, he had fallen for a trap by online vigilantes from the group ‘Silent Justice’ who use fake internet profiles to catch would-be sex offenders.
Ali was sentenced 10 months in jail and faces deportation back to Pakistan after spending eight years in the UK on an expired student visa.
Al-Imran Ali, 34, is facing deportation after getting 10 months in jail for getting caught propositioning an underage girl. Ali messaged a 12-year-old girl on a dating website, but he was actually talking with a member of Silent Justice
It was revealed during a Manchester Crown Court sentencing hearing how Ali contacted an account on a dating website that was operated by Silent Justice.
Prosecutor Martin Callery said at the hearing: ‘He was the subject of an operation undertaken by a group called Silent Justice.
‘They are a group who track down paedophiles, and those who make communication with young people, or seemingly young people, through social media.’
Ali messaged ‘Nicola’, who he thought was 12 years old, on the dating website saying ‘Hi’.
She responded saying: ‘Hi, I’m Nicola, 12, from Lancashire.’
Their conversation then moved onto WhatsApp where they proceeded to talk for 12 days before agreeing to meet up.
‘Those conversations for his part became increasingly more sexualised, increasingly more graphic,’ Mr Callery said.
Ali asked ‘Nicola’, who was actually a 49-year-old woman, if she had a boyfriend and if she had periods.
Then he asked her when they could meet up and repeatedly begged her to send him photos of herself.
Ali was caught at Salford Quays tram stop by members of Silent Justice, and they published the meeting on Facebook . He denied that he was meeting up with a 12-year-old girl
Ali was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court (pictured) to 10 months in jail with probable deportation back to Pakistan. He was in the UK for eight years on an expired student visa
The pair agreed to meet at Salford Quays tram stop with the instructions that ‘Nicola’ was not supposed to wear underwear.
Ali, who was living in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, was confronted by members of Silent Justice in November of last year.
The entire interaction was recorded on Facebook by the group in a 40-minute live video.
The group, led by an unidentified woman, cornered Ali outside and revealed that they were calling the police based on the evidence they had against him.
Ali said repeatedly: ‘This is a misunderstanding. I’m very sorry, love. Please, it will never happen again.’
The Silent Justice members revealed that ‘Nicola’ said her age seven times, yet Ali still enticed her to meet him with no underwear or bra on.
‘There’s a lot of fake people on the internet,’ Ali said. ‘I just came here to see if she was a child.’
Caught: The woman who posed as ‘Nicola’ called Ali while he was being interrogated by Silent Justice members. He picked up the call which let the members know they had the right guy
He attempted to defend his decision to meet up with a 12-year-old girl saying that he thought she was ‘lying about her age’ so he didn’t she was that young.
Members of the group repeatedly asked Ali what he was planning to do had a 12-year-old girl showed up.
But Ali continually denied that he was interested in young girls and claimed it was all a big misunderstanding even after his messages were read.
These messages included him asking for pictures of ‘Nicola’ in the toilets and saying she needed come and make him happy.
The members even had the woman who posed as ‘Nicola’ call Ali while they were questioning him to prove they had the right guy.
After Ali was arrested, he said he had a condom on him because he was going to visit a massage parlour. He also claimed he didn’t remember the WhatsApp conversations with ‘Nicola’.
Ali later admitted to one count of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming in court.
His solicitor, Lindsay Orr, said it was ‘highly likely’ that Ali would be deported after serving his sentence.
Ms Orr added that the broadcast of Ali being confronted by Silent Justice, which she said was viewed online by 40,000 people, would have ‘repercussions’ when he returned to Pakistan.
Judge Anthony Cross, who sentenced him to 10 months, said: ‘Quite obviously you have a sexual interest in young female children, and your actions were clearly sexually motivated.’