August 2021

Paignton man caught by paedophile hunters avoids going to prison

A sex offender who was caught by paedophile hunters in a sting operation has avoided prison

Jack Major sent intimate pictures of himself to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl called Maisie without realising it was a decoy profile posted on social media.

He told Maisie that he wanted to have sex with her but backed out repeatedly when given the chance to meet her, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He claimed to be 17 in the first conversations but soon gave his true age, which was 21 at the time.

Major, now aged 23, of Dartmouth Road, Paignton, admitted attempted sexual communication with a child, attempting to incite a child to take part in and watch sexual activity.

He was jailed for six months, suspended for two years and ordered to do 30 days of rehabilitation activities by Judge Peter Johnson.

He was put on the sex offenders register and made subject of a seven-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order which enables the police to monitor his online activity.

Mr Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said Major sent the messages between July 5 and 23, 2019, when police were alerted and he was arrested.

The people controlling Maisie’s profile offered to arrange a meeting but Major backed out, initially saying his motorcycle was being repaired and then saying he did not want a girl of her age to travel alone to meet him.