Online paedophile hunters who snared man in Sunderland speak of their motivation
A group of online paedophile hunters who posed as a child to snare a man in Sunderland have spoken of their motivation to keep children safe from predators.
The group who call themselves Guardians of the North confronted the 47-year-old man who travelled more than a hundred miles from Driffield, East Yorkshire, to meet an underage girl.
Unknown to him, he had in fact been talking with adult members of the group, who filmed him as he arrived on Wearside.
A spokesperson for the Guardians of the North said the man was the second person caught in Sunderland and the 13th overall, to be caught since the group's inception two-and-a-half to three months ago.
They would not give details as to where the other operations were carried out.
Asked about the motivation behind the group, the spokesperson said: "Every member of the team has experienced some sort of abuse in the past.
"We just want to keep kids safe online from predators, groomers and paedophiles.
"We have travelled far and wide, but I don't want to go into where as some of these cases are ongoing.
They said their main message is for parents to ensure they know what their children are doing online and that they are not communicating with anyone inappropriate.
"We want to make parents aware and check their kids' phones, computers and tablets to make sure they are safe," they added.
In the video, which has been viewed more than 53,000 times on social media, a member of the group tells the man: “You know what you’ve done wrong, don’t you?"
The man responds: "I just knew this would happen to me.
"I wasn't going to - I wasn't going to do it."
The man is then presented with a record of a
conversation he is alleged to have had with the fake youngster.
A member of the Guardians group tells him: "You reading everything? You said you wanted sex.
"So why do it?"
The man answers: "Because I'm lonely. Just someone to talk to somebody is fantastic.
"I'm glad you guys do this, but being in a situation where you are lonely - you've got nobody".
He added: "I wasn't going to. Honest."
The group member says: "I've got every single word that you've said to me on a memory stick in my pocket, ready for the police when they come.
"You should have never spoke to her in the first place."
A police office is later recorded approaching the man's vehicle and the group claim he was taken into custody.
Humberside Police declined to confirm whether an arrest was made or whether the man has been charged.