February 2021

Creepy Scots trucker caught sending vile messages to school girl, 12, caged after paedophile hunter sting

A trucker who was caught sending vile messages in a paedophile hunter sting is behind bars.

Craig Edgeler, 50, struck up a conversation with ‘Tia’ on messaging app Meet Me.

He was told the girl was 12 but continued to chat and eventually the pair swapped numbers and began texting.

Creepy Edgeler, from Newmains, Lanarkshire, quickly turned the conversation to sex unaware he was talking to a member of the Children’s Warriors group.

They aim to expose adults trying to meet children for sexual activity.

He sent a string of depraved messages before sending her an explicit image.

In one message, he said: “I told you I will be the horse, you can ride me anytime.”

The group went to confront him at his home and live streamed it over Facebook.

Edgeler, who is being held in HMP Addiewell, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court where he admitted sending sexual messages and a sexual image between March and May 2020.

Depute fiscal Rebecca Clark said: “The complainer ‘Tia Henderson’ is a member of the group Children’s Warriors, an online child protection group styling themselves as paedophile hunters made up of six members.

“She was contacted by the accused on online app Meet Me who said ‘hey, how are you?’ to which the complainer replied ‘hi, I’m Tia and I’m 12’.

“The accused said she didn’t look 12 but she told him she was.

“Numbers were exchanged and the conversation moved to text and began to become sexual.”

Miss Clark added: “The group attended at his home in June 2020 and were live streaming it to their Facebook page.

“They attended his front door under the pretence of having bumped into his parked car to get him to open the door and engage.

“The witnesses then confronted him with a photo of the decoy child and asked if he knew her and he admitted talking to her.

“During this the accused’s wife came out and was advised of what was happening and about his online activities and she became upset.

“At that stage police attended the location and arrested the accused.”

Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen deferred sentence until next month and placed Edgeler on the sex offenders’ register.

He added: “I will adjourn these matters but you will be remanded in custody.”