October 2020

Northfield child predator was caught by two paedophile hunter groups

A Birmingham sex predator has been jailed after being snared by two paedophile hunter groups in a matter of months.

Anthony Loveridge asked a decoy ’12-year-old girl’ what her favourite colour was before immediately asking if she ‘had sex yet’.

He had made contact with two fake Facebook profiles, purporting to be young girls, and encouraged them to perform sex acts.

The 70-year-old from Northfield also sent explicit pictures of himself as well as a graphic YouTube video.

One of the groups warned him about a ‘bee sting’ moments before they turned up at his home.

Loveridge admitted five child sex offences and was jailed for four years and four months at Birmingham Crown Court.

In January this year he came to the attention of the Children’s Innocence Matters group.

Prosecutor David Jackson said: “A member of that group set up a profile, under her profile picture it said ‘I’m 12, I love dancing, I love my pets’.

“The defendant made a friend request followed by a message saying ‘Nice to meet you, Tony’.

“The decoy replied ‘Hi, how old are you I’m 12’. The defendant asked what her favourite colour was and then if she had had sex yet.”

Mr Jackson explained that Loveridge sent numerous messages encouraging the girl to perform a sex act and told her ‘not to say anything’. The defendant then asked the decoy for a photo before sending an explicit one of himself.

But the group found out where he lived and confronted him leading to his arrest.

However when Loveridge was released under investigation he struck again.

In May he made Facebook contact with a profile setup by the Our Team group, purporting to be a 14-year-old girl, before switching to WhatsApp.

Initially the defendant said ‘You’re too young, this is a setup’ but he continued with the conversation and started encouraging her to perform a sex act, similarly to the first decoy.

Loveridge also sent an explicit picture of himself, a video of him performing a sex act as well as a lewd YouTube video apparently instructing on how to perform a sex act.

Mr Jackson stated that just before the group went to confront him at his home they sent him a message via the decoy account saying ‘watch out for a bee sting’.

Loveridge, now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, two counts of attempting to engage or incite a child into sexual activity and one count of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

Judge Peter Carr, passing sentence on Tuesday, October 13, said: “I have carefully considered if it is possible to avoid a sentence of immediate custody, given the current circumstances. I am afraid I have concluded that I cannot.”