Illegal immigrant jailed after planning to meet underage girl in Sunderland

Matranxhi appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
Matranxhi appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.

An Albanian national who travelled to this country illegally has been jailed after being snared by a paedophile hunting group.

Edwuart Matranxhi engaged in sexual online chat with who he believed were two 14-year-old girls - called Laura and Louise - and he never imagined that he was actually talking to Guardians of the North.

The 22-year-old contacted the young girls on a dating social media site called Scout and struck up sexual chat, saying that he wanted to have sex with them and adding: "You are 14, I could go to jail for this."

But Newcastle Crown Court heard that after arranging to meet one of the 'girls' on Park Lane, Sunderland, on June 30 this year, he got cold feet and failed to turn up.

However Guardians of the North tracked where the messages were coming from and turned up at the B&B Matranxhi was staying in, in Percy Main, North Tyneside.

They detained him and held him to the floor until police arrived and arrested him - finding two condoms in his pockets.

David Lamb, prosecuting, said: "The messages began in an innocent fashion with the defendant saying 'hi'.

"The girl asked the defendant how old he was and he said he was 22.

"The fake girl replied saying she was 14.

"The conversation quickly turned to sex with him asking if she was a virgin.

"She replied yes. He asked if she would like to have sex with someone."

The court heard how the defendant, who needed a translator in court, pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Vic Laffey, mitigating, said: "He is here illegally and he was told upon arrest that he is to be deported.

"He came to this county on the back of a lorry. He came here to work. He came a number of months ago.

"He lived in Albania with his family - his parents and siblings.

"He had no work so he came here illegally to find work. Initially he worked at a car wash in London and found his way up here.

"He was staying in a B&B paying with the money he earned. He was unable to find work in the area.

"He is very keen to go back to his family because he had been made aware that his mother is ill.

"He came here out of desperation."

Jailing him for 12 months, Recorder Eric Elliott QC said: "Unbeknown to you, this girl did not exist and the girls were the creation of the group Guardians of the North who set up false profiles with a view to entrapping people such as you. You fell fully into their trap.

"The Guardians of the North tracked you down on June 30 and you were detained and subsequently arrested by police.

"I am told that you will be deported after serving your sentence, but that is not a matter for the court."

Matranxhi, of no fixed address, must sign the sex offenders register for the next 10 years and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely.