June 2021

Paedophile hunters expose Edinburgh pervert sending sexual comments to ‘schoolboy’

An Edinburgh man who sent disgusting sexual comments to who he believed was a 14-year-old boy has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Alistair Thorpe, 49, contacted an online account belong to a teenager called Tom Phillips and soon began sending “extremely sexual” comments.

Thorpe asked the boy if he would like to “sleep with me” and told the youngster he was “hot”.

But the pervert was snared after it emerged he was in fact in contact with an adult decoy belonging to the paedophile hunter group Child Protectors Scotland.

The hunter group then confronted Thorpe at his home at the capital’s Marshall’s Court during a sting operation that was live-streamed online.

Police were called in and Thorpe admitted the offence during a subsequent interview in October 2019.

Thorpe pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to attempting to contact who he believed was a 14-year-old boy for the purposes of sexual gratification between September 29 and October 24, 2019.

Fiscal depute Karima Stewart told the court Thorpe first contacted ‘Tom Phillips’ on Facebook and after sending several messages he tried to arrange a meeting with the lad.

Ms Stewart said the messages sent to the boy’s social media account contained highly sexual comments.

The fiscal added the paedophile hunters turned at Thorpe’s home on October 24, 2019 and “filmed his reaction” as they presented him with all their evidence.

Solicitor Richard Souter, defending, said he would reserve his mitigation to the sentencing hearing.

Sheriff John Cook placed Thorpe on the Sex Offenders’ Register and deferred sentence for reports to August.

Thorpe pleaded guilty to sending written sexual communications on social media to who he believed was a child from his home between September 29 and October 24, 2019.