August 2021

Blackpool paedophile spared jail after arranging to meet child for “kiss and cuddle” on Prom

A Blackpool man who was stung by ‘peadophile hunters’ has been spared jail after being charged with child sex offences.

Michael Wagstaffe, 53, thought he was talking to a 14-year-old girl online when he told her to strip and send nude pictures of herself to him.

On Wednesday (August 11), Blackpool Magistrates heard how he then arranged to meet the youngster on the Prom for “a kiss and cuddle”.

But Wagstaffe was unaware the girl he was grooming was in fact a ‘decoy’ – an adult posing as a child on behalf of anti-paedophile group Fleetwood Enforcers UK.

After arranging to meet up with his young victim, Wagstaffe was confronted by the vigilante child protection group outside his home in Lytham Road, South Shore.

The encounter was filmed and broadcast live on Facebook, where hundreds of people watched him interrogated by the group before police arrived at the scene.

He was arrested and taken into custody where he admitted to officers that he had arranged to meet a child for sex.

The court heard that during his police interview, Wagstaffe told officers he would “watch young girls in school uniform”.

He pleaded guilty to arranging to meet a 14 -year-old for sex and a second charge of attempting to engage in sexual activity .

Stacey Morrow, prosecuting, said that Wagstaffe used the alias Mike Williams when he was prowling social media for potential victims.

Wagstaffe was handed a one year jail term suspended for two years and was ordered to pay £241 costs .

He has also been put on a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for seven years.