Stephen Booth – Rotherham
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Ex Network Rail manager and dad nabbed by paedophile hunters talking sex chats to ‘girl’
A dad who believed he was engaging in sexual chats with a school girl was in fact messaging a decoy set up by paedophile hunters.
Stephen Booth, a former Network Rail manager, made contact with what he believed was a 14-year-old girl on a messaging app called Kik.
The conversations soon turned “overtly sexual”, with the 41-year-old even sending images of himself to her.
He also asked the teen to carry out sexual acts on herself and asked about her school life.
But what Booth did not know was that he was actually talking to an adult paedophile hunter who had set up a fake profile with the aim of catching perverts.
Booth appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday to be sentenced for attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The offences were carried out between September 5, 2018 and June 3, 2019.
Robin Turton, prosecuting, said a member of a paedophile hunter group set up a fake profile on Kik, with Booth contacting her on September 6.
The conversations, which also took place on WhatsApp, became “gradually sexualised”.
Mr Turton said Booth “persistently” asked when she would be leaving school and asked her “not to tell her parents” about the conversations.
Booth also sent “indecent images of himself” to the decoy and asked her to carry out a sexual act on herself.
Booth, who was living with his partner of 10-years and three children in Skelton at the time, was later arrested.
Booth was dismissed from his senior role at Network Rail as a result of his offending and had moved to Rotherham.
The court was told he is currently working in a warehouse and that he “intends to tell his employers about his offending”.
Judge Jonathan Carroll sentenced Booth, who gave his address as Aldergate Court, Maltby, to a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He must also carry out 50 rehabilitation days and 200 hours unpaid work.
He was put on the sex offender register for 10 years and was given a sexual harm prevention order for the same length of time.