Morecambe online sting man guilty of grooming
A man caught in an online sting by a group of parents posing as a 13-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to intending to commit a sexual offence.
Arthur Douglas, 53, of Westgate, Morecambe, appeared at Preston Crown Court where he admitted trying to meet up with a 13-year-old girl with the intention of committing a sexual offence.
Douglas was arrested in Morecambe’s Arndale Centre on June 14 following the online sting by a team of parents called the Internet Interceptors.
On their Facebook page, the Internet Interceptors, which is a closed group, say they are a dedicated team of parents hunting paedophiles and sexual predators across the UK keeping communities safe.
The group posted a video on their Facebook page where two women confronted Mr Douglas outside Poundland in the Arndale Centre.
The pair asked Mr Douglas his name, which he confirmed. They then asked him if he had arranged tomeet a 13-year-old girl from London with the intent of having sexual intercourse with her.
He admitted he had said this but that he may have been drunk at the time.
He said he had a lot of financial problems and was a carer for his father but had a drink on a night.
The women asked him how he felt if he had ruined a child’s life by committing a sexual offence against them.
He admitted it was a ‘stupid mistake’ but admitted he had contacted the girl.
He said he would have taken the girl back to his house where his father lived but would have told her she was a ‘friend.’ He asked the 13-year-old ‘will you be my girlfriend’ and ‘will you have sex with me.’
Douglas will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on August 5.