Sunderland man duped by Guardians of the North after chatting to 'teenage boy'

A "loner" was snared by a group of paedophile hunters when he turned up to meet an underage boy.

Friday, 13th April 2018, 2:50 pm
Updated Friday, 13th April 2018, 2:56 pm
Osbourne appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.

Paul Osbourne believed he had been chatting to 15-year-old 'Martin' over dating website Grindr but had been duped by Guardians of the North.

The undercover organisation sets up profiles of children online to snare adults looking for illegal activities.

The 46-year-old was met by members of the group when he arrived to meet 'Martin' last September.

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In the video, Osbourne tells members of Guardians of the North that he knew the boy was 15 and was "bantering" with him.

He goes on to say "I was just talking to people" and "I wasn't going to do anything with him" before again telling them it was "pure banter."

At Newcastle Crown Court Osbourne, of Cairo Street, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child after grooming.

He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and programme requirements.

Osbourne must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Judge Stephen Earl told him: "Martin does not exist, he is a figment of someone's imagination.

"You were clearly aware it was a boy that was being in contact with you, certainly that was your belief."

Jamie Adams, defending, said Osbourne was living a "lonely existence" at the time and was struggling with personal issues.

He has no similar offending on his record.

Mr Adams added: "He is remorseful for all this."