December 2015

Pervert jailed after railway station Facebook schoolgirl sting

copley

A Sheffield man who thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl for sex, has been jailed after a couple who set up a fake Facebook profile confronted him at a railway station.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how Dean Copley, aged 45, of Renathorpe Road, Shiregreen, sent pictures of his penis to a teenager.

But a group calling themselves Online Predator Investigation Team were behind the fake profile.

The court heard that Copley attempted to meet an underage girl after weeks of online grooming and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Copley was arrested at Sheffield station on 14 February this year, after police were alerted by OPIT, who had confronted him when he arrived there with the intention of meeting an underage girl.

On December 29, the group received a friend request from Copley and once the request was accepted, he immediately began to engage in topics of a sexual nature.

Once the meeting was agreed, the team behind OPIT, a married couple, waited at the station where they confronted Copley and alerted officers who arrested him for attempted grooming.

In questioning Copley admitted sending the pictures but claimed it was by mistake and that he thought he had been conversing with a 16-year-old.

He told officers he had realised the profile was fake but went ahead with the meeting to expose the people behind the sting to police. He later pleaded guilty to attempted grooming.

Sentencing Copley, Judge Kelson QC said: “Perverts must be stopped from preying on children.

“You wanted full sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old child.

“You were not trapped by this couple you were trapped by your own perverted lust.

“This is one of the biggest deterrents that perverts face, full exposure in the media spotlight.”

Detective Inspector Mick Jackson from British Transport Police said:

“This is a significant sentence which sends out a clear message and will hopefully act as a deterrent.

“I would like to praise the efforts of the officers whose hard work brought Copley to court today and helped secure this conviction.

“The details of the case are a stark reminder that young people using social media must be vigilant. If the profile had in fact been that of a 14-year-old girl the consequences of Copley’s intentions would have been extremely serious.

“Anyone who suspects online grooming activity should contact the police immediately.”

Copley was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

November 2015

Man who sent Facebook sex pictures to 14-year-old girl caught in Sheffield station ‘sting’

A 45-year-old Sheffield man who believed he was sending indecent images of himself to a 14-year-old girl on Facebook has pleaded guilty to attempted grooming.

Dean Mitchell Copley, of Renathorpe Road, Shiregreen, had arranged to meet the girl at Sheffield railway station on Valentine’s Day, February 14, this year.

It came after he had made sexual advances online in the weeks leading up to the meeting, as well as sending indecent pictures of himself.

But the Facebook profile was actually a fake and Copley was instead met at the station by the couple behind it.

The couple alerted British Transport Police officers and Copley was arrested.

Copley will now appear at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday, December 1, where he will be sentenced for the offence.

The incident is not understood to be connected to a similar sting also carried out earlier this year at Sheffield railway station by self-styled ‘Paedophile Hunter’ Stinson Hunter.

Hunter posed online as a teenage girl and befriended a 26-year-old man, who exchanged explicit text messages with the ‘youngster’.