July 2019

Hull ‘animal’ who booked hotel for sex with schoolgirl jailed after being caught by paedophile hunters

A paedophile was so confident of meeting a schoolgirl he groomed online he booked a hotel room in Hull.

But when Patrick McKinney arrived at Paragon Interchange to meet the 14-year-old he had been chatting to on Facebook, he was instead confronted by a group of “paedophile hunters”, who detained him and called police.

McKinney, 30, has now been jailed after showing little insight into his offending and trying to “minimise what he’d done”.

Richard Thompson, prosecuting, told Hull Crown Court a fake profile of a girl was posted online on January 2, 2018 by the Predator Exposure group.

McKinney, who had been searching the internet, made contact with her on Facebook Messenger the same day, saying: “Hi hun, how are you?”

The girl replied: “OK thanks. Do I know you?”

In further exchanges three days later, “Becky” told McKinney she was 14, to which he replied: “I didn’t know you was 14. You don’t look it hun xxx.”

Asked how old he was, McKinney told the girl he was 28.

Mr Thompson said the pair continued to exchange messages over the coming months, and despite further references to the girl’s age, “the conversations were of a sexual nature”.

On May 22, the prospect of meeting and travel arrangements were being discussed, with McKinney suggesting the girl could get a bus. He also asked her: “Do you want to show me your hot body?”

McKinney, who called himself Steven, also said he could “get squirty” with cream and ice-cream, which he could use during a sexual act, calling the girl “beautiful hun”.

Discussions of the meeting included what McKinney would be wearing so the girl could identify him. He had planned to book a room a the Village hotel, but opted for Fiveways instead after the Village became “too expensive”.

He only realised Becky did not exist when the group caught up with him on May 27.

The group of vigilantes said the man even asked the girl to pay half of the room after cornering him at Hull’s Paragon Interchange.

Members pounced on McKinney who had allegedly organised to meet a 14-year-old girl for sexual activity and said he “believed the age of consent to be 18”.

The peadophile hunters called him a “f*****g animal” before telling him they would let him go before the police got there if he promised not to do anything like it again.

McKinney replied: “I promise,” before a member of the group told him: “You’re not going anywhere. I’ve just exposed you f*****g a**e.”

The video ends with McKinney being led away by police officers outside St Stephen’s shopping centre.

McKinney initially made no comment in police interview, but confronted with the evidence “made some limited admissions but essentially minimised what he’d done and the motivation behind it”, Mr Thompson said.

McKinney, of Hessle Road, west Hull, admitted attempting to meet a child following grooming, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

He had previous convictions for harassment in 2012 and common assault in 2014.

Jailing McKinney for a year, the judge said there could be “no mistake” about the age of the girl in the profile, and that the conversations were “wholly unlawful”.

McKinney must register as a sex offender for ten years and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.