April 2021

Grindr ‘younger bottoms’ pervert snared by online paedophile hunters

A pervert met a 15-year-old boy over a dating app and travelled to Derby to meet the underage boy for sex.

But when Julian Collins arrived at Midland railway station, “Rob” was really self-styled paedophile hunters.

Derby Crown Court heard how the 44-year-old also sent the decoy a picture of his private parts saying he was “looking for younger bottoms”.

And he wept tears of relief in the dock when he was told he would not be going to prison.

Handing Collins a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years, Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “You have escaped custody by the skin of your teeth.

“You started communicating on a legitimate website with someone who told you they were 15. You made all of the reassuring comments when the decoy indicated he was shy.

“You indicated to the decoy that he would enjoy it. These are extremely serious offences.”

Stephen Kemp, prosecuting, said the paedophile hunter group set up Rob’s profile on Grindr in January, 2020.

He said on January 30, that account received its first message from Collins who asked Rob how old he was.

Mr Kemp said when the profile told the defendant he was 15 and shy he replied “we can get that sorted”.

He said: “He asked the decoy if he had any pics and they sent him one of a boy who is now an adult.

“The defendant sent a picture of himself wearing a baseball cap and then a photo of his private parts.

“On his profile the defendant said he was ‘looking for younger bottoms’ and listed the types of sex he was into.

“The defendant then asked the decoy of he ‘wanted to play’.”

Mr Kemp said Collins arranged to meet Rob at Derby railway station in early February.

But as he was waiting he was approached by two women from the group who asked him who he was waiting for.

He said he was waiting for someone called Sharon, but then fled the scene.

Mr Kemp said Collins, of Laburnum Grove, Spring Gardens, Shrewsbury, then handed himself in at St Mary’s Wharf police station.

He said: “He told the police he had been told two women had turned up at his address referring to him as a paedophile and that when he was confronted in Derby he had ran away.”

Collins pleaded guilty to attempting to sexually communicate with a child and attempting to meet a child for sex.

As part of the suspended sentence, Collins was ordered to carry out 35 rehabilitation sessions with the probation service and attend a 90-day program to address his offending.

He was also handed a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and will be on the sex offender register, also for 10 years.

Judge Bennett also ordered Collins to carry out 80 hours unpaid work