April 2021

Man spared jail after being stung by ‘paedophile hunters’ posing as 14-year-old girl online

A Mitcham man who was stung by so-called paedophile hunters after they posed as a 14-year-old girl online, has been spared jail.

Kenny Johnson, 25, had arranged to meet the girl close to Hemel Hempstead station on July 1 last year, but was confronted by members of The Innocent Voices Team, a group of volunteers ‘that attempt to protect children from online grooming’.

They captured the ordeal on camera and kept Johnson at a distance until police arrived to make an arrest.

He appeared at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday (April 7) to be sentenced for two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child.

However, he was spared a prison sentence by His Honour Judge Rajeev Shetty.

Johnson was given a 24-month community order, placed on the sex offenders register for five years and must undertake 40 hours of unpaid work.

A video taken at the time shows the so-called paedophile hunters confront Johnson and explain why they have approached him.

He is then repeatedly asked why he was engaging in sexual communications with a child, but in the video he refuses to answer.

Johnson does say, though, that he ‘would never harm any child’, before saying he has a split personality and said: “I don’t know what is wrong with me”.

The entire video, which is 39 minutes in length, also shows at least three police officers arriving at the station to arrest Johnson, before he is taken into custody.