Perverted Yorkshire 'ghost hunter' jailed after a being caught in online sting by paedophile hunter group

An author who runs a ghost hunting group has been sent to prison after being caught out in an online sting by a paedophile hunter group.

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 11:45 am

John Holey believed he was in contact with a with a 14-year-old girl when he sent an explicit photo of himself on social media.

Leeds Crown Court heard the 52-year-old also made sexual suggestions to the 'girl' he believed was called Lydia.

Holey, from Wakefield, was actually sending messages to a member of online paedophile hunter group Fleetwood Enforcers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

John Holey was jailed for two years and two months after being caught in paedophile hunter group sting.

Group members tracked Holey down to his flat at Warren House, Kirkgate, and live-streamed the confrontation on the internet.

Holey refused to to leave the flat but was eventually arrested from the property by police and brought out to a waiting patrol car.

Holey admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to breach a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) between June 13 and 20, this year.

Katherine Robinson, prosecuting, said that Holey had sent a friend request on the social network site, Tagged, to what he thought was a girl called Lydia, but was in fact a member of Fleetwood Enforcers.

John Holey believed he was sending sexual image of himself to a 14-year-old girl.

The court heard that despite it being made clear at the start of the conversation that the decoy girl was only 14, Holey persisted and that the talk descended into him asking sex-related questions, before sending her a photo and asking her to send one back.

During interview Holey claimed he knew it was not a 14-year-old girl because it was "too good to be true".

Holey, who had a book published about growing up on Wakefield's Flanshaw estate and also runs a ghost-hunting group, has a history of similar offending, including possession of indecent images of children in 2011 for which he received a community order.

He was then convicted of sexually assaulting a child a year later, for which he received the SHPO designed to prevent him offending, but admitted breaching this in 2015.

John Holey being led from his flat by police in Wakefield

Chris Moran, mitigating, told the court that Holey has a history of depression and alcohol-related issues.

He said his client had been badly affected by the lockdown period, adding: "He had difficult coping mechanisms in regard to his compulsions."

Judge Simon Batiste said the offending was too serious for Holey to be dealt with by a community order.

He said: "It gives you no excuse to behave in this way.

"This is not someone of previous good character, this is an attempt to breach a SHPO.

"It was a very serious breach. It was a persistent and flagrant attempt."

Holey was jailed for two years and two months and made the subject of a new SHPO for an indeterminate period.