A team of paedophile hunters confronted a pensioner on his doorstep after he corresponded with them – thinking they were young girls.
The group had also visited neighbours of William Bruce Houlker, 68, of Bawdlands, Clitheroe, to tell them the reason for their presence moments before he and his wife arrived home in their car to be confronted in a video streamed live on Facebook.
The married grandad has since pleaded guilty to eight counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity as a result of information the “Stand Together for Kids” group – which had only formed three weeks earlier – passed on to Lancashire Police.
The charges relate to girls aged 12, 13 and 14 – but the ‘victims’ were in fact the five adults undercover.
They had encountered him on a chat site and encouraged him to correspond on Whats App so the conversations could be recorded.
Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said: “He said he was aged 35 years but of course he wasn’t. “Through the conversations there’s a common thread.
The defendant indicated when he was aged 17 he had a 13-year-old girlfriend.
He moved on to talk about – quite quickly – the acts that were performed between himself and the 13-year-old girlfriend.”
The court heard he sent lewd images of himself performing an act.
He suggested to one child he believed to be 13 that they could have sex in his car. The pensioner confessed as soon as police arrived.
Judge Sara Dodd sentenced him to 22 months, suspended for 24 months, and he must sign the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years.
He was also given a rehabilitation activity and is barred from working with children
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