September 2021

Smiling pervert snared by paedophile hunters after telling child decoy to meet for ‘sex in woods’

A pervert who laughed during his custody photo after he was caught by a paedophile hunter group after he began sending explicit chats to what he believed to be a schoolgirl.

David Standley began chatting with what he thought was a 14-year-old girl over Facebook and sent her an explicit photograph of himself and asked her to do the same.

But the 27-year-old was actually messaging an adult decoy who was working for Angels of Innocence, a group that aims to bring paedophiles and perverts to justice.

Standley, of Station Road, Redcar, appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday, via link from HMP Durham, to be sentenced for attempting to incite a child into sex between March 2019 and April 2020.

He also faced further charges of possession of a blade and a public order offence.

Standley pleaded guilty to all charges at a previous hearing after initially denying the offences.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said the adult decoy created a profile on Facebook, and used a profile picture that was “clearly of a child”.

On April 12, 2019, Standley – who had no profile picture – sent a friend request to the girl and a conversation developed.

Ms Atkinson said the decoy told him she was 14-years-old – with Standley then asking if she had a boyfriend.

The chats soon turned sexual, with Standley asking her to send him a picture of herself in a bra and told her she was “stunning” and “sexy”.

Ms Atkinson said the conversations went on for a period of months as the decoy attempted to get as much personal information on Standley as possible.

Standley continued to send overtly explicit messages to the decoy and even asked what she wanted to do when she left school.

Ms Atkinson told the court he sent the decoy an explicit photograph of himself and suggested she get a train to meet him so they could “have sex in the woods”.

Standley was eventually arrested in January and later charged; he was then given a date to attend Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

But Standley went on to commit further offences on New Year’s Eve, the court heard.

Ms Atkinson said police were called to Queen Street in Redcar after reports of men at an address with “baseball bats”.

An “intoxicated” and “agitated” Standley was found nearby with another man.

When officers approached, Standley slapped the man he was with and was later found in possession of an eight-inch kitchen knife, which he told officers he needed for “protection”.

The court heard Standley had eight previous convictions for 12 offences, with his last conviction coming in June, last year for sending malicious communications.

Judge Howard Crowson jailed Standley for three years and two months.

He was also made subject of a lifelong sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.