Phone sex pervert snared by Dark Justice paedophile hunters

A Wearside pervert who got a "sexual kick" from sending pictures of his private parts to underage girls he met on the internet was snared by paedophile hunters.

Tuesday, 16th August 2016, 7:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th August 2016, 8:29 am
Michael List was trapped by a Dark Justice sting

Michael List thought he was exchanging "hundreds" of messages with two young girls he met over a social networking site, but had been collared by members of Dark Justice.

The anonymous group targets men who want to engage in sex chat or acts with underage girls.

At Newcastle Crown Court, List, 41, admitted sending explicit pictures and graphic messages while his girlfriend, who he lived with, was out at work.

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He confessed he engaged in the behaviour for a "sexual kick".

The court heard List first started chatting to who he thought was a 13-year-old girl called Sara in June last year.

List gave the girl, who told him her young age, his phone number so they could engage in explicit chat and, about a month later, started sending sexual messages to another girl - who Dark Justice claimed to be called Stacey and told him she was 15.

The court heard she had the same profile picture as 'Sara' but, when 'Stacey' agreed to a meeting with List and claimed to be on her way, he backed out of the arrangement and said "he thought it was best if they did not meet up".

Dark Justice handed the chat logs they had been having with List over to the police and he was arrested.

List, of Bede Terrace, Chester-le-Street, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
Anne Richardson, prosecuting, told the court: "He said he had arranged to meet the girl, but then decided against it as he had a partner and did not really want to meet someone else.

"He denied ever having met any of the people with whom he chatted over the Internet for sex.

"Although he could not remember the specific chat with the girls he was asked about, he did agree that he had shown photos of his penis while corresponding with them.

"He said that he lived with his partner and that she would most probably have been at work whilst he was messaging. He said he had no intentions of meeting anyone and had done it for a sexual kick.”

List said during one of the messages he would "lose his job, his house and his life" if his online behaviour was exposed.

Judge Penny Moreland sentenced List to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with group work programme and £500 costs.

List must sign the sex offenders’ register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for seven years.

The judge told him: "The messages were highly sexual in content. You asked for indecent images and sent indecent images of yourself. You discussed the possibly of performing a range of sexual activities."

Judge Moreland said the sentence could be suspended because List cancelled the meeting.

She added: "Unusually for cases of this sort you cancelled the meeting and thought better of your plan to meet. For that reason and that reason alone I am prepared to suspend the sentence."

Peter Walsh, defending, said List had a good work record and no history of similar offending.

Mr Walsh said List had a "fixation" with online activity and is willing to work on his problems.

He added: "When the opportunity was there to actually meet a young girl he thought was interested in serial activity he made it clear he wouldn't meet her.

"That is powerful mitigation."