Nailsworth man caught in Justice4Kids sting
TWO female paedophile hunters confronted Andrew Papps on his front doorstep after catching him by pretending to be under-age girls online, a court heard on Friday, October 30.
Andrew Papps, 46, thought he was conversing with 13-14 year old girls on Facebook and WhatsApp and he sent them explicit sexual pictures of himself as well as encouraging one of them to perform a sex act.
But the girls were fictitious and their profiles had been created by two female members of Justice4Kids, Gloucester Crown Court was told.
The women found out where Papps lived and turned up at his former home at Sunnyhill, Cainscross, and livestreamed the confrontation on social media.
But undeterred by his arrest that day, Papps later downloaded hundreds of indecent images of children onto his computer, the court heard.
Papps, now of Forest Green, Nailsworth, pleaded guilty to communicating with the three fictitious girls, believing them to be aged 13 or 14, between March 21 and April 15, 2019 by means of social media platforms.
He also admitted two charges of attempting to engage a 13-year-old in sexual activity and between the same dates.
He also admitted possessing indecent images of children on his phone on April 14, 2019 and on his computer on July 2 this year.
He was sentenced to 22 months jail suspended for two years.
Prosecutor Catherine Flint told the court tha Papps’ conversations with the ‘girls’ were initially ‘light.’
“But after a week the talk turned into a sexual conversation where he encouraged one of the girls to masturbate,” said the prosecutor.
“Papps then sent them a photograph and a video of his private parts. He was constantly told that the girls were under age, but he chose to ignore this information.
“One of the women behind the paedophile hunters then carried out some research and found out where Papps lived.
“Members of the group then door-stepped Papps on April 14, 2019 and invited the police to attend.
“Papps’s computers and phones were examined and the police found one Category A indecent image, the most severe classification, of a girl aged between eight and ten, and a Category B image of a girl of a similar age.”
Papps was interviewed and the released from police custody while he was under investigation.
Ms Flint added: “In May this year police received additional information from the National Crime Agency that somebody living at his new Highwood Court Forest Green address and was downloading indecent images of children.
“A search warrant was executed on July 2 this year and on Papps’ laptop computer police found a total of 418 indecent images that had been downloaded between October 24, 2019 and July 1, 2020.
“These were 116 images of category A, 161 of category B, and 141 images of category C. All images depicted girls aged between four and 12, with the most being around the age of 10.
Judge Jason Taylor QC interjected: “What concerns me is that having been given a warning shot across the bows he then goes and downloads hundreds of images.”
Eugene Hickey defending said: “Papps accepts that over the past few years he has developed a sexual interest in girls aged between 12 and 14.
“Having been involved in the conduct which got him arrested in April last year he continued downloading these indecent images. He couldn’t keep away.
“But in his own mind he saw downloading the images as less serious than trying to communicate with girls of that age.
“He has accepted that he has this unhealthy interest and this is the first step to rehabilitation.
The judge imposed a 22 month prison sentence, suspended for two years. Papps also subjected him to the terms of a sexual harm prevention order and sign the sex offenders’ register.
He also ordered Papps to attend 40 programme days and complete 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days.