Man snared by Dark Justice after sex chat with 'teen'
A man who thought he was having explicit sex chat with a 15-year-old has been snared by paedophile hunters.
Alexander Wright had an online conversation with who he believed was an underage teen and turned the conversation sexual "almost immediately".
Newcastle Crown Court heard the youngster's profile had been set up by Dark Justice and the teen did not exist.
Wright, 30, had arranged to meet the the youth but failed to turn up and the undercover organisation, who pose as children online to snare adults looking for contact with children, passed his details to the police.
Prosecutor Paul Cleasby told the court: "A volunteer group Dark Justice set up an online profile of a child.
"The online profile was contacted by this defendant. The first few lines of the contact revealed the child was 15.
"The defendant continued the conversation, which quickly turned highly sexual."
The court heard Wright's computer devices were seized and no evidence of interest in children was found.
Wright, of Bridle Way, Houghton, denied attempting to communicate with a child for sexual purpose but was found guilty by a jury after a trial.
Jamie Adams, defending, said Wright has never been in trouble before, has a good work record and has now "lost his reputation".
Mr Adams added: "He usually very carefully thinks about everything, he clearly hadn't done on this occasion."
The court heard Wright submitted a letter and a character reference to the court.
Judge Julie Clemitson sentenced Wright to a community order for three years with treatment and rehabilitation requirements and a three-month nighttime curfew plus £750 costs.
Judge Clemitson told him: "You spoke in your conversations about serious sexual acts. You deliberately chose to engage in the conversation with someone you thought was 15, it didn't just happen.
"No real child was harmed as you were not actually talking to a child."
Judge Clemitson said she accepted Wright felt "shame and remorse" for his behaviour.