April 2021

Paedophile jailed for arranging to meet ‘child’

A paedophile has been jailed for arranging to meet a child intending to commit sexual offences

Jessica Ann Smith, 41, communicated with what she thought was a 14-year-old girl online but who turned out to be a decoy from paedo hunting team ‘Justice for the Tears’ who passed the chat-log onto UK database

When local paedophile hunting group UK database arrived in place of the ‘child’ they found Smith hiding in the bushes.

Smith was jailed for two years and 10 months when she appeared at Exeter Crown Court.

The defendant pleaded guilty to four offences relating to communicating with children online.

Prosecutor Ms Mary McCarthy said the first offence happened when Smith set up a profile on a site called Skout pretending to be a 20-year-old woman called Jasmine from Exmouth.

She started chatting to what she thought was a 14-year-old but was a decoy account.

The tone of the conversation quickly turned sexual, said the prosecutor, and Smith shared sexual photos and encouraged sexual behaviour.

In July 2018 Smith set up another profile , this time of a 21-year-old woman, on a different site.

Once more she thought she was communicating with a 14-year-old girl when in fact it was the same group of paedophile hunters.

Smith sent sexual pictures of women and arranged to meet in person. When told a 12-year-old might also come along Smith encouraged it and indicated she should also be part of the sexual activity.

“When people behind the profile arrived they saw a person dressed as a male peering through a hedge,” said Ms McCarthy.

They told Smith they were looking for a female paedophile. Smith tried but failed to talk her way out of the situation and police were called.

Smith admitted sending the messages but said she did not intend to meet an underage girl or commit a sexual act with them.

She was currently going through the process of gender reassignment and was terrified of going to a male prison.

The defendant admitted one charge at Sidbury of communicating with a child and attempting to meet for a sexual offence and three offences of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.