September 2017

Burton paedophile trapped by group escapes an immediate jail sentence

A 44-year-old man involved in sexual grooming on the internet was exposed by a vigilante group which confronted him on the doorstep of his Winshill home, a court has heard.

Kevin Collins was trapped by members of the so-called Keeping Kids Safe group who filmed him and posted the footage on social media.

The vigilante group set up pseudo online profiles of young girls, and Collins believed he was communicating with girls who were 11 or 12 years old.

The conversations were sexual and he sent a naked picture of himself, asking one girl to send him nude photographs.

On Thursday, September 21, Collins appeared at Stafford Crown Court for sentencing via a video link from prison. He has now been given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He will also have to take part in a rehabilitation programme to focus on his sex offending and he must register as a sex offender for the next 10 years.

Collins, of Empire Road, Winshill, had admitted three offences of intentionally communicating with girls he knew were 16 or under for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification between June 25 and July 15 this year.

Judge Michael Chambers QC said that what Collins had done and had intended to do was very serious and all children deserved to be protected.

Darron Whitehead, prosecuting, said Collins had exchanges over a three-week period with a girl the defendant thought was aged 12 and named ‘Kirsty’ and over a two weeks with a girl he thought was 11 and named ‘Lexi’ and for about a week with a girl named ‘Tia’.

A decoy mobile phone number was posted and Collins had initiated contact with ‘Tia’ on July 10 and wanted confirmation of her age.

In chats on WhatsApp the defendant gave his age and asked ‘Tia’ about boyfriends and if she preferred older men.

Mr Whitehead said Collins asked if she would have sex with an older man and told her she was cute, but he was told that he was too old.

He also sent a picture of his private parts, made a sexual suggestion and encouraged her to send him nude pictures.

Mr Whitehead said Collins said he wanted to meet her and that he could collect her from the station in his car.

“On July 15 he had arranged a meeting but he failed to turn up. However, the Keeping Kids Safe members knew where he lived and the make and model of his car and went to his address to locate him.

“When he was confronted he made some admissions and the police were called and he was arrested,” he said.

Collins told police he was lonely and was not attracted to children and had not intended to attend any meeting.

The court heard Collins had had similar conversations with both ‘Kirsty’ and ‘Lexi’ in the previous weeks.

In 2007 Collins was convicted of 17 charges of downloading child sexual abuse images for which he had been given a three-year community order.