June 2021

Man confronted on doorstep by paedophile hunters who posed as 13-year-old girl

A pervert discussed having babies with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl – only to realise he’d been snared by online paedophile hunters.

Michael Cuthill contacted what appeared to be a 13-year-old girl on dating app Badoo and sent sickening sexual messages discussing having sex.

The 59-year-old even spoke about having babies together – only to discover he was actually messaging an adult member of an online child protection group.

He also sent the “child” an image of his genitals and arranged to meet her, only to back out at the last minute.

Fiscal depute Sean Ambrose told Aberdeen Sheriff Court three different groups had been involved in snaring Cuthill; Keeping Kids Safe, Forbidden Scotland and Hunting Online Predators Everyday (HOPE).

A member of the Forbidden Scotland group created a fake profile on Badoo pretending to be a 13-year-old girl, whose name the Evening Express has chosen not to use to avoid jeopardising future operations.

The decoy account was contacted by Cuthill, who was using the name Michael Johnson, and the pair initially engaged in general, non-sexual chat.

Mr Ambrose said: “The accused was repeatedly advised the female was 13, which he acknowledged but continued to message.”

Cuthill then requested the “child’s” mobile number, and the conversation moved to WhatsApp, where it became more sexual.

He asked her about her relationship status and sent a message reading: “I could wait for you until you’re old enough. Lol. xxx.”

The 59-year-old went on to ask if she’d like to meet discussed taking her “for a walk”.

He also made references to wishing to make her a Valentine’s Day card and said she was his “best friend”.

The conversation became increasingly sexual, with one of Cuthill’s messages reading: “I would love to have babies with you. Lol. Xxx.”

Other messages included: “When you’re old enough maybe we can have sex. Maybe one day we will be in bed together. Xxx.”

He also asked her sexual questions and requested a picture of her.

Cuthill said: “You should send me a picture of yourself and then delete it. Xxx.”

The decoy child refused the request.

Mr Ambrose said: “The accused sent various messages about wishing to have protected sex with the decoy and kissing her, despite being reminded she was 13.”

Cuthill also sent the “child” and image of his face and bare chest and asked: “Would you like to rub your hands over my chest?”

He also sent an image of his genitals, followed by explicit sexual messages.

As the content of the messages were read out in court Cuthill remained silent and hung his head in the dock.

Mr Ambrose said: “Conversation turned to the accused wishing to meet the decoy in person.

“Arrangements were made for him to travel by bus to Stirling to meet her.

“The accused backed out at the last minute stating the reason of her being too young.”

On February 22 2020 Forbidden Scotland shared the chat logs of the conversations with Cuthill with Keeping Kids Safe and HOPE.

The other groups attended at Cuthill’s door and confronted him while live streaming on Facebook and contacted the police.

On being confronted he his communications with the “child”.

He was arrested and when interviewed by police he admitted communicating with the decoy in the belief it was a 13-year-old girl, but “denied being sexually attracted to children”.

Cuthill, of Fullerton Court, Woodside, admitted attempting to cause a child under 16 to view a sexual image by sending the decoy a picture of his genitals on February 20 2020.

He also admitted attempting to communicate indecently with a child under 16 between February 7 and February 23 2020.

The offences were committed at an address in Westhill or elsewhere.

Sheriff Margaret Hodge deferred sentence until July for reports and made Cuthill subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act.