January 2021

Child groomer caught by seven paedophile hunter groups

A man who contacted young girls online for sex chats was snared by seven different groups of paedophile hunters, a court heard.

Michael Camp, 34, was chatting on Facebook to girls aged nine to 14,  but who were in fact decoys, set up by seven different groups aiming to protect children online, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Camp had sexual conversations with the girls, who were all adult members from the groups, posing as children.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said that Camp asked some of the girls to send him indecent photos of themselves or watch him performing an indecent act.

He said the most serious offence was when he engaged in sex chats with a girl he thought was nine.

He said the behaviour was over a three-month period between June and August 2019 and Camp was arrested after one of the paedophile hunter groups confronted him at his home and contacted police.

Mr Youell said that the confrontation by the group was live streamed on Facebook.

Camp, of Victoria Road, Diss, admitted attempting to cause a child to watch sexual activity and attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity.

David Stewart, for Camp, said that as a result of his arrest he had lost everything and was now an isolated and lonely man living in a hostel.

He said that he had not re-offended and was willing to get help.

Sentencing him, Judge Maureen Bacon said that in each case the child he contacted was a decoy and not a real child.

“You were publicly shamed and that was live-streamed on video.”

However she accepted Camp was keen to get help and so she imposed a 24-month jail sentence suspended for 22 months and ordered that he take part in a programme for sex-offenders to help prevent any  re-offending.

He also has to do 250 hours unpaid work.

Judge Bacon also placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order.