December 14, 2021 1.59 pm

Spalding man jailed after being caught in ‘paedophile sting’

He messaged adults that he believed were teenage girls

A Spalding man who was caught in a “paedophile sting” when he sent sexual messages to two adults he believed were teenage girls has been jailed for 32 months.

Simon Stone, 24, instigated sexual conversations with the two women decoys in December last year believing they were aged 13 and 16.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Stone first exchanged messages with the woman he believed was 13 on Facebook.

Mark Achurch, prosecuting, said during the conversations Stone sent a photograph of himself in bed and later one of his penis.

The court heard Stone also encouraged the female to touch herself and sent her an indecent video.

When the contact ended Stone quickly moved on to another adult decoy who he believed was aged 16 or 17, Mr Achurch told the court.

Mr Achurch said Stone asked the female to “send him something naughty” and invited her to his home.

The paedophile hunting group behind the sting attended at Stone’s then home in Spalding along with police, Mr Achurch added.

During police interview Stone made no comment but he indicated guilty pleas to his offending when he appeared at Magistrates Court.

Neil Sands, mitigating, said Stone had stayed out of trouble in the year since his offences and moved away from Lincolnshire to the North East of England to help look after his mother.

Mr Sands told the court Stone had been lonely and depressed after suffering a relationship breakdown and was of previous good character.

“The Probation Service say he is someone they can work with and manage safely in the community,” Mr Sands added.

But passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst told Stone his offences could only be punished by an immediate prison sentence.

Stone, now of Witton Crescent, Darlington, admitted three offences of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, to watch a sexual video and to engage in sexual exploitation between December 13 and 17, 2020.

He was sentenced to 32 months imprisonment and must register as a sex offender for life. He was also made the subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

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