July 6, 2020 5.15 pm This story is over 24 months old

Lincoln man avoids jail after paedophile hunters sting

A psychiatric report revealed he has learning disabilities

A man who repeatedly contacted what he believed to be young girls on the internet was caught by a group of paedophile hunters, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Monday.

David Tulley made contact with what he thought were nine girls aged between 12 and 14, asking for naked pictures and sending them indecent photographs of himself.

But in reality the “girls” were actually decoy social media accounts set up by paedophile hunters and as a result police were contacted leading to his arrest.

Lincolnshire Police said Tulley voluntarily attended the police station on June 13. He was later charged to appear at Lincoln Magistrates Court last December. He was remanded on unconditional bail before further court appearances.

Mark Watson, prosecuting, said: “Having identified the age of these ‘girls’ he would then tell them he loved them and tell them that they were his wife or girlfriend.

“Then almost straight away he would request images asking for naked pictures. He would send them a picture of his penis.”

Mr Watson said that some of the “girls” were encouraged to perform sexual acts and two were sent indecent videos.

The court was told that Tulley had no previous convictions.

A psychiatric report revealed he has learning disabilities with little comprehension of the consequences of his actions. He has been diagnosed as having autism and suffering from ADHD.

Tulley, 24, of Portland Street, Lincoln, admitted four charges of attempted sexual communication with a child; eight charges of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act; two charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity; and a further charge of attempting to incite child pornography.

The offences took place between September 1 and December 18, 2018.

Karen Walton, in mitigation, said that Tulley lives in supported housing and rarely leaves his accommodation.

“He has been isolating himself since his arrest. He has a fear of going out and a fear of socialising.

“He lives in sheltered accommodation and will be doing so long term. Following his arrest his support workers have not allowed him access to the internet.

“He is a vulnerable person. He has no comprehension of the consequences of his actions.”

She said that Tulley has received threats since his offences became public knowledge and on the conclusion of the court case it is planned that he should move to supported accommodation outside Lincolnshire.

Tulley received a two year community order and was also given a five year sexual harm prevention order.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told Tulley “These were all attempts under different sections of the Sexual Offences Act.

“One of the features of this case is that you are described as almost robotically doing this. You are a loner and live in sheltered accommodation. You are described as being dependent on the staff.

“Your autism affects your thinking. I’m sure you didn’t intend harm to come to anybody from your actions. You have little if any understanding of the consequences of what you were doing. I’m taking an exceptional course because of the very particular exceptional mitigation. ”

The Keeping Kids Safe vigilante group posted on its Facebook page last year claiming that Tulley was originally stung in December 17, 2018 by Fleetwood Enforcers UK.