June 2021

Sex-offender caught by online paedophile hunters posing as a teenage boy

A sex-offender has been placed under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years after he was exposed by online paedophile hunters posing as a teenage boy.

Sheffield Crown Court heard on June 14 how Stephen Baldwin, aged 53, originally made contact with a male bogus online profile which had been set up by paedophile hunters and who claimed to be living in Barnsley.

Simon Reevell, prosecuting, said: “So-called paedophile hunters had placed a profile of a fictitious person called Lee, a bi-sexual male, 22 years of age, who according to the profile, lived in Barnsley.”

He added the defendant made contact with the profile who then claimed to be 15-years-old and the conversation developed and they exchanged telephone numbers and they talked about sexual intercourse.

Mr Reevell said Baldwin arranged to meet the online contact at Barnsley Interchange rail and bus station in April, 2017, but was confronted by a paedophile hunter and the police were called and Baldwin was arrested.

Baldwin, of Highgate Road, London, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Mr Reevell added Baldwin has other matters recorded against him but they are not relevant to this offence and they are old.

Judge Graham Reeds told Baldwin: “You have not been in trouble since you were arrested for these matters and these matters took place more than four years ago.

“What you did warrants an immediate custodial sentence but for the fact you have not been in trouble for four years and there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.”

He sentenced Baldwin to 12 months of custody suspended for two years with a sexual group work programme and a rehabilitation requirement.

Baldwin who has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for ten years was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will also run for ten years.