A paedophile who turned up at a railway station expecting to meet a woman for sex arrived to find police waiting for him, Lincoln Crown Court was told today on Friday.
James Rippington pulled out a knife when officers approached him at Grimsby Railway Station and then after he was detained he was again aggressive.
Ian Way, prosecuting, said Rippington had been tracked by two different groups of paedophile hunters as a result of his activities online.
A member of one of the groups posed as a 20-year-old woman and successfully managed to obtain Rippington’s true identity.
She set up a meeting with Rippington and arranged for police to be there.
Mr Way said: “She alerted the police to be at the scene to effect his arrest.
“The arrangement was made to meet at Grimsby Railway Station on January 27, 2019. The defendant was led to believe this would be a liaison where they would have sex.
“At 20 to 6 a number of police officers attended Grimsby Railway Station and saw the defendant standing near to a pub. He was followed and approached and produced a knife.
“He was told to let the knife go. He did and was detained. He was not compliant, shouting at officers saying they had ruined his life. He said he wished he had stabbed them when he had the chance. He was arrested and was spitting at officers as he was taken to the van.”
Mr Way said that earlier in the month Rippington had contacted a nine-year-old girl from Louth over Instagram claiming he was a 12-year-old called Tom who lived in Lincoln. He asked her to send him indecent photos of herself but she showed his messages to her mother and police were contacted.
As police were investigating Rippington also attracted the attention of a group of paedophile hunters. One of the group set up a decoy account claiming to be a 14-year-old girl and was contacted by Rippington. This time he claimed to be 13. He again asked for her to send indecent photos.
As a result a different group of paedophile hunters were involved with one of their members posing as a 20-year-old woman from Scunthorpe in an effort to identify Rippington.
Mr Way said that following his arrest Rippington’s mobile phone was checked and police found 94 indecent images of children on it.
When Rippington was interviewed he denied he had any sexual interest in children.
Rippington, 28, formerly of Grimsby but now of George Street, Mansfield, admitted offences of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and two charges of possession of indecent images of a child. The offences all occurred in January 2019.
He was jailed for 43 months. He was placed on the sex offenders register for life and given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.
He was dealt with at an earlier hearing by Humber Magistrates for possession of a bladed article and two charges of assaulting an emergency worker as a result of the incident surrounding his arrest. He received a suspended jail sentence on January 29, 2019 for those matters.
Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight told him “You denied any sexual motivation or any sexual interest in children. That is fighting reality.”
Fergus Malone, in mitigation, said Rippington had been forced to move out of Grimsby for his own safety when his offences became known.
“He is sorry about what he did. He had to move from Grimsby because there was a risk to his personal safety.
“Effectively he has been disowned by his family. They are not talking to him.”