Pervert collapsed when confronted by Dark Justice vigilantes

Newcastle Crown Court
Newcastle Crown Court

A pervert collapsed live on camera when he turned up to meet an underage girl but was instead confronted by a vigilante group.

David Hanson passed out when he realised that the youngster he believed he had been communicating with was in fact online paedophile hunters Dark Justice.

Hanson, of Benwell, Newcastle, had been exchanging explicit messages over the internet in the days before the meeting in July and boasted about having a job as a football referee and how killer Raoul Moat was his "hero".

Speaking after the 44-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming at Newcastle Crown Court, Dark Justice said: "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 will be sentenced next month and has been granted conditional bail in the meantime.

Judge Tim Gittins told him: "The overwhelming likelihood is a sentence of imprisonment for an offence of this seriousness. I am sure you understand that."

Hanson's guilty plea came on the same day another man who was caught by the vigilantes was jailed at the same court building.

Ryan Kelly became the ninth man to be put behind bars after communicating with the group when he thought it was an underage girl.

Kelly, of Nun Street, Newcastle, had exchanged explicit messages with who he thought was a 14-year-old.

The 31-year-old had discussed having sexual activity with the youngster while his girlfriend was out and even suggested another man watch what they got up to.

He was confronted by Dark Justice when he arrived the pre-arranged meeting point in April and captured on video.

Mr Recorder William Lowe jailed Kelly, who has never been in trouble before, for eight months.

The judge told him; "The law is there to protect young girls."

Kelly had claimed he turned up to the meeting out of "curiosity" and would not have engaged in sexual activity with the child if she had existed.

The judge rejected his claim and told him: ""I am satisfied, had you had the opportunity, this meeting would have gone ahead and you would have carried out your promise."

Julie Clemitson, defending Kelly, said the sexual discussions were just fantasy.

Miss Clemitson added: "He is inherently decent and hard working, It is a blip in an otherwise remarkable young man's life."