Chester teen said he had indecent images of children as he wanted to be paedophile hunter

A teenager from Chester found with dozens of indecent images of children said he downloaded them as he wanted to hunt paedophiles.

Callam Watling, 19, of Hermitage Road, Saughall, pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing indecent photos of children.

Chester Magistrates Court heard on Friday, June 18 that Watling pleaded guilty on the basis he was a paedophile hunter and wanted to use the images to catch out other people online.

The court heard it was on that basis for which he would be sentenced, and magistrates handed him a three-year community order.

The indecent images were obtained between March and October 2020.

They included four video files and four still images deemed as the most serious category – category A – which the court heard included a child aged two to three years old in “significant distress”.

There were also six still images assessed as category B and 33 images of children at category C.

Defending, Andy Holliday said Watling had watched videos of paedophile hunters and “wanted to do something positive during lockdown”.

He had not downloaded the images, but had been sent them by paedophiles online.

Watling was handed a 36-month community order, to include 30 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and an accredited sex offender treatment programme.

He must also carry out 300 hours unpaid work and pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

He must also sign the sex offenders register.