July 2021

Sex offender who wanted to meet young girls caught by ‘paedophile hunters’

A sex offender who wanted to meet a child has been caught by ‘paedophile hunters’.

Mark Bunyan of Back Lane, Malvern was in reality talking on the internet to ‘decoy’ children, one calling themselves ‘tiny girl’, and not real children after a string by a group set up to bring online predators to justice.

The 55-year-old admitted two charges of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Thursday.

He indicated guilty pleas to sexual communication between January 6 and 16 this year in Malvern via Kik and a further charge between January 9 and 16 this year, again via Kik.

The charges are listed as ‘attempts’ because no real children were involved in the commission of the offences.

Elizabeth Blacklock, prosecuting, said the case was not suitable to be heard by magistrates and asked that it be committed to the crown court for sentence.

Miss Blacklock said Bunyan had sent sexual pictures to decoys who had identified themselves as being 14, the profiles set up by ‘a paedophile hunter group’. Bunyan had also asked them to send him ‘images of themselves in their underwear in return’, she told the court.

Magistrates committed the matter to Worcester Crown Court. No date was fixed at the hearing but the defendant was told he would be notified ahead of the hearing at crown.

Bunyan was granted bail with one condition – that he is not to have any unsupervised contact with any child under 18 other than contact which is unavoidable and inadvertent in the course of daily life.