A 58 year old man who worked in a chip shop, had arranged through the internet to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex, unfortunately for him, it was not a 13 year old girl but paedophile hunters known as Dark Justice,he had done this while out on bail for talking to children online.
Paul Ellis, 58, drove more than 200 miles from North Wales to Newcastle carrying condoms and some sweets in his pocket and was supposed to meet the ‘child’ following months of online conversation in an internet chatroom.
On Thursday, Mold Crown Court heard the girl did not really exist and that it was infact a vigilante group known as Dark Justice. Dark Justice are an organisation that tries to catch paedophiles by posing as children online.
Upon arriving in Newcastle, Mr. Ellis was confronted by one member of the group and was later arrested by the police.
Video footage of the confrontation which took place in April shows Mr.Ellis sitting in his car with a packet of sweets in his hand while he openly admits his sick and cruel intentions..
In the video clip, the Dark Justice member asks Mr.Ellis “are you here to meet an underage girl for sex and show her child pornography on your iPad” to which he replies: ‘Yes’.
The Dark Justice member then accuses him of chatting to children online on a frequent basis, which he denies.Mr. Ellis had been arrested almost two years ago after police seized his home computer and found a large number of very graphic sexual chat logs with underage girls and boys, the court heard.He claimed that it was all just a fantasy and that he had since ‘moved on’, upon being interviewed.The police carried out extensive inquiries in September of last year and Mr.Ellis pleaded not guilty.The trial was fixed to go ahead in February but when further issues were raised, the case was adjourned.
Upon Sentencing , Judge Rhys Rowlands said that Mr.Ellis, who was a qualified nautical engineer, had engaged in ‘lurid sexual conversations’ with children over a period of several months.
The Judge told him: ‘You continued with what was totally depraved behaviour even after you had been arrested and appeared in court.’You travelled up there in the belief that you were going to meet up with and have sex with a 13-year-old girl.’It is abundantly clear that you were well aware of the risks that you were taking but you were determined to take those risks even after the involvement of the police and you were discovered.Ellis had told the police after his arrest in April that he had begun working in a chip shop after going through a bad patch.
The court heard he accepted that he needed help and that he had problem.
During conversations on WhatsApp with the fake girl, Ellis had made it clear what he wanted to do to her, photographs were sent and arrangements were made to meet up.
Ellis, when 20 miles away from the meeting point had sent a message stating he had condoms on with him.Defending barrister Simon Mintz stressed that no sex had taken place and there had been no meetings with children.Ellis admitted five charges of attempting to arrange a child sex offence over the internet in 2015 with 11 similar offences taken into consideration between January and October of last year.He also admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity between August of last year and April of this year.He was jailed for four years and two months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
He will be sentenced for the Newcastle offence at a court in the North East on Monday.
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