In a very dramatic stunt, a pedophile collapsed on camera when he arrived to meet up with a 14-year-old girl but was instead confronted by a group of vigilantes.
David Hanson,45, of Benwell, Newcastle thought he had been grooming a teenage girl online but he had actually been incriminating himself by revealing his perversion to members of the online pedophile hunting group Dark Justice, Daily Mail reports.
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Equipped with a backpack filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and condoms, Hanson arrived at the Centre for Life in Newcastle with the intention to meet up with “Amanda” and head back to her home where he planned to spend the night while her parents were away.
Prosecutor Anne Richardson detailed the exchange between Hanson and the members of Dark Justice to Newcastle Crown Court:
“They (Dark Justice) spotted the defendant and contacted the police. Both told him they were from Dark Justice. The defendant said: ‘I wasn't going to have sex with her.’”
“He said he felt sick and looked as if he was going to faint. He asked to join Dark Justice as he agreed with what they were doing. He repeatedly said he was sorry, he had been stupid.”
One member of Dark Justice recounted the moments before Hanson passed out:
“His eyes rolled back and he just went straight to the ground. We confronted him in the same way we do all our cases, there's no aggression or anything. We just revealed who we were and he passed out. We prepare ourselves for all sorts of outcomes at these meetings but we certainly weren't expecting that.”
Hanson has since pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, according to the Daily Mail. He was reportedly sentenced to a three-year community order and given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.
While Dark Justice successfully aided authorities by catching Hanson in the act, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children maintains that this type of vigilante justice is highly dangerous.
“Whilst we understand there are groups who want to stop offenders committing these vile acts, tracking down sex offenders must be left to the proper authorities. Undertaking these vigilante-style operations could unintentionally result in people getting hurt, drive offenders underground or jeopardise [sic] an on-going police investigation; putting children at greater risk.”
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