A man who groomed and arranged to meet what he believed to be a 14-year-old schoolgirl was trapped by internet vigilantes, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Monday, August 21.
Daniel Swift thought he was contacting a teenage girl and after sending her explicit photographs and videos he arranged for her to travel to Lincoln to meet him for sex.
Swift was convinced the person he was chatting to online was a genuine 14-year-old called ‘Emms’ and on the day she was due to arrive he booked a taxi to take her from Lincoln railway station to his home off the city’s High Street.
Richard Thatcher, prosecuting, said that no-one was at the station when the taxi turned up but in a subsequent conversation Swift was persuaded to reveal his address.
As a result, Kirsty Ireland and Shane Brannigan, who had set up the sting, went to Swift’s home where they detained him and called police.
Mr Thatcher told the court: “This case arises through this defendant’s contact through social media with, as he believed her to be, a 14-year-old girl called Emms.
“Emms was actually an adult woman called Kirsty Ireland who had set up that alter ego on social media.”
Swift first contacted ‘Emms’ on April 5 this year when she told him her age.
Mr Thatcher said: “He began by asking if she wanted a daddy to look after her.
“There was a conversation as to whether this involved him becoming involved with her mother.
“He told her ‘Daddy loves his little girls not their mummies’.
“The contact degenerated into sexual conversation.”
Swift went on to send an image of his penis as well as explicit videos.
He made it clear he wanted to have sex and at one point he suggested a foursome with Emms, her 10-year-old sister and 14-year-old cousin.
Swift then went on to arrange a meeting believing she would be travelling to Lincoln by train from Guildford.
Swift, 47, of Princess Street, Lincoln, admitted charges of attempting to sexually communicate with a child and attempting to meet a child following grooming.
He was ordered to be detained in a secure psychiatric unit after the court heard he has been treated for over 25 years for mental health problems and has been diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
Psychiatrist Dr Jaspreet Phull told the court that Swift had been involved with the mental health services from 1989 and has since had numerous admissions to mental health units.
Dr Phull said: “Mr Swift suffers from a mental disorder of a nature and degree to warrant hospital treatment for his safety and the safety of others. My recommendation is a hospital order.”
Judge Simon Hirst imposed a sexual harm prevention order and placed Swift on the sexual offences register for five years.
The judge, passing sentence, told Swift: “I am of the opinion that because of all of the circumstances of your case including the nature of these offences, your character, your antecedents in the past and the long and complicated history of mental illness that you have, that the most suitable manner of dealing with you is by an order under the Mental Health Act of 1933.”