Powys man confronted by paedophile hunters in Newtown

A member of a paedophile hunters’ group posed as a fictitious teenage girl to ensnare a Powys man.

Darrell Swain was confronted by members of the group in Newtown in June last year and was subsequently arrested by police. The 54-year-old had travelled from his home in Ystradgynlais to Montgomeryshire to meet who he believed to be the 14-year-old girl he had been messaging between May 19 and June 1, 2020.

Appearing at Welshpool Magistrates Court on Tuesday, April 27, Swain, of Ael-y-Bryn, Ystradgynlais, admitted a charge of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child. Magistrates declined jurisdiction in the case and committed Swain to Mold Crown Court for sentence next month.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said a female member of the paedophile hunters’ group engaged in conversation with the defendant.

“Contact was made between the defendant and a 14-year-old fictitious person; he engaged with her in chat and asked her if she had a boyfriend,” said Mrs Tench

“In the following days he told her he wished that she was his girlfriend, he wished they could kiss and cuddle and he wished they were having sex.”

Mrs Tench said Swain continued to send sexually explicit messages to the female, offering to send her pictures and asking for pictures from her.

“The woman arranged with others to confront the defendant and arrangements were made to meet him,” she added.

“At that meeting members of the hunter group confronted the defendant and the police were called and he was arrested.”

Craig Hardin, defending, made no submission on behalf of his client.

Magistrates committed the case to Mold for sentence, with Swain due to appear there on May 18. They said he must report to police in Brecon within three days.