Pervert travelled 75 miles from Northumberland to Sunderland to meet '14-year-old girl' for sex
A pervert travelled from Berwick to Sunderland to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.
Roy Trotter was caught by vigilante group Guardians of the North who set up a false online profile of a young girl.
Trotter was confronted by the group as he drew up in his car to meet the girl, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“There had been an exchange of texts,” said Ian West, prosecuting.
“In these, it was made clear to Trotter he was talking to a 14-year-old girl.
“He said he wanted to meet her, and have sex with her.
“The meeting was arranged for outside a pub in Sunderland.
“When Trotter drew up outside the pub he was confronted and arrested.”
Trotter, 46, of Bridge Street, Berwick, denied attempting to incite a girl to take part in sexual activity, and he denied attempting to meet a girl following grooming, both in May, 2017.
During a trial earlier this year at Newcastle Crown Court, Trotter said he thought the girl was only pretending to be 14.
He was convicted of both offences by the jury.
Vince Ward, defending, said in mitigation: “This was out of character offending for Mr Trotter.
“He does have a record, but nothing for offences of this type.
“There are some signs he is coming to realise he has a problem which must be dealt with.
“He is a hard working man, currently employed as a digger driver,”
Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced Trotter to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, 35 rehabilitation activity days, and made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years restricting his unsupervised contact with children and internet use.
Judge Sherwin told Trotter: “It is in the interests of the public for you to stop offending.
“There wouldn’t be a chance for you to work on that if I were to send you to custody.
“Do well on this order and you won’t have to go to prison., mess it up and you know where you will be going.”
Trotter must register as a sex offender for 10 years.