Sex offender sent Facebook messages offering to pay schoolgirls for sex during paedophile hunter group sting

A convicted sex offender sent Facebook messages offering to pay schoolgirls to have sex with him as he was caught in a paedophile hunter group operation.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 11:45 am

Jonathan Wilkinson was the subject of a community order at the time of the offending after being arrested following a similar sting.

Leeds Crown Court heard Wilkinson made contact with fake social media profiles set up by adult members of the group in June and July this year.

Wilkinson sent messages to the profile believing they belonged to girls aged 12 and 13 in Leeds, Liverpool and Leicester.

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Paedophile Jonathan Wilkinson was jailed for 28 months at Leeds Crown Court after being caught by a paedophile hunter group for the second time.

Ayman Khokhar, prosecuting, said Wilkinson set up six Facebook profiles using different aliaises.

He contacted the girls using an account in the name of 'Danny James'.

The court heard Wilkinson had over 1,000 contacts on the profile, the majority being underage girls.

The 26-year-old defendant made contact with the first 'victim', believing she was aged 12.

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Wilkinson sent messages offering her £200 to have sex with him.

He also offered to take the youngster shopping before taking her to a hotel.

Wilkinson made contact with a second profile, believing it to be that of a 13-year-old girl.

During the conversation he stated he was aged 26 and offered to pay money for sex.

Wilkinson also made contact with what he believed was a 13-year-old girl from Leeds.

He was arrested on July 24 after the group contacted police when the defendant tried to make arrangements to meet her in Dewsbury.

Wilkinson, of Union Street, Dewsbury, pleaded guilty to three counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and one of breach of a sexual harm prevention order.

The court heard Wilkinson was the subject of a community order at the time after being caught by another paedophile hunter group.

The offence took place in 2019 when he made contact with what he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

He suggested taking the girl ice skating and offered to pay her for sex.

Wilkinson was taking part in a sex offender treatment programme when he committed his latest offences.

Imran Khan, mitigating, said Wilkinson pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage but accepted he must face a custodial sentence.

Wilkinson appeared in court via a video link from custody. He sat with his head in his hands during much of the sentencing hearing.

Judge Christopher Batty jailed Wilkinson for 28 months.

The Judge said: "What is clear to me is that you are, first of all, sexually attracted to children.

"Secondly, that you will go to some lengths to have sexual contact with a child.

"Thirdly, the intervention of the court and intervention of the probation service has done nothing to diminish that attraction or to deter you from pursuing children in this way."