June 2021

Hoddesdon man avoids jail after messaging fake underage ‘girl’ in paedophile hunter sting

A man has avoided jail after messaging a fake underage girl who was part of a paedophile hunter sting.

Reece Biggs, 26, of Chittenden Close, Hoddesdon, messaged ’13-year-old Jessica’ – who was actually a fake decoy account set-up by the paedophile hunting group Justice4Kids – on a number of occasions between March 20 and April 28, 2018.

In a sentencing hearing at St Albans Crown Court on Friday (June 4), Biggs was given a suspended prison sentence after previously pleading guilty to an attempt to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Prosecuting, Richard Whitcombe told the court how Biggs made an approach to ‘Jessica’ and asked her how old she was.

She replied 13 while he told her he was 23, which was correct at the time.

Biggs then continued to contact her, paying her compliments and telling her she was “beautiful” and “fit”, the court heard, while not knowing it was in fact an undercover account.

In the early stage of the exchanges, Biggs also asked the ‘girl’ to send a photograph of her belly, an area that “seemed to be a particular point of attraction”.

No such photos were ever sent.

Communication then became more focused on what he wanted to do, and he said how he would “love to have sex with her”.

Biggs, who had no previous convictions, also sent a photo of himself saying he wasn’t particularly good looking and that he loved her, “not as a girlfriend but as a friend”.

On April 28, 2018, Biggs went to meet with who he thought was the ‘girl’ in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, but is said to have changed his mind when he got there and avoided the meeting.

The representatives of the paedophile hunting group contacted the police to say that Mr Biggs was with them as they saw him near some shops.

A mobile phone and screenshots were given to police and the devices seized.

Later that day Biggs was interviewed by officers when he told them he was going to meet her “to tell her it was wrong to meet up and that it wasn’t for any sexual meeting”, the court heard.

Judge Kay QC sentenced Biggs to a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to complete a sex offender programme requirement as well as 30 days of rehabilitation.

He will be on the sex offender register for 10 years and the sexual harm prevention order for five years.

The phone will also be destroyed.