Prolific sexual offender travelled to Oldham to meet 13-year-old girl

A prolific sexual offender travelled across the country from Hampshire in the hope of grooming what he thought was a 13-year-old girl, only to find out he had been stung by a paedo hunter group.

David Hodges made contact with what he thought was a youngster on Chat Avenue using the username Hubblebubble99, a court heard.

The decoy, from the group Confronted and Caught, made clear she was 13.

Hodges told the account she made him feel “tingly” and she said she “doesn’t know how to kiss and has no experience.”

Hodges proceeded to say he thought about touching her on her breasts and between her legs.

He went on to send her pictures of his genitals and videos of him engaged in sexual activity.

In one of the pictures sent a letter could be seen which revealed his identity and his address in Portsmouth.

He went on to arrange a visit to Oldham last month when he was told the girl’s father was working a night shift.

While there he was stung by the team and reported to the police.

He was found to have two mobile phones, which he was banned from having without permission from previous sexual harm prevention orders.

When taken to Ashton Police Station he made a full confession and admitted having a sexual interest in children.

He appeared at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to be sentenced for sexual communication with a child, grooming and two breaches of a sexual harm prevention order.

Prosecutor Peter Malone revealed his previous convictions for sexual offences.

He said: “At Portsmouth Crown Court in July 2017 he was convicted of possession of indecent images of children, extreme pornography and prohibited images of children.

“In Cardiff Crown Court in May 2018 he admitted attempting to meet a girl under 16 following sexual grooming.”

He said he was jailed for more than two years for the second offence.

Representing the 57-year-old, defence counsel William Donnelly said his client was realistic in accepting a jail sentence was inevitable.

He read from a letter which Hodges had written to the judge, in which he said: “I am here for the abhorrent thoughts and actions that I have.

“I do want help, I can’t continue like this.

“I do not see myself as the victim, other people are the victims, I apologise to them.”

Imposing a sentence, judge Sophie McKone said his intentions were obvious.

She said: “You are determined to have sexual activity with a child.

“Your attempts have been thwarted until now.

“It seems no court order or prison sentence can deter you from your ultimate goal to have sexual activity with a real child.”

She jailed him for 64 months, but also ruled that after his release he must be subject to an extended period of licence for two years.

Hodges, whose address was given as Western Parade in Swansea, was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.