Watch the dramatic moment a paedophile is snared by a vigilante group in a live Facebook video

Have your say

This is the dramatic moment a paedophile is snared by vigilante hunters after he sent pictures of his genitals to a fictional underage girl.

Pervert Kevin Collins, 44, was spared jail after he was caught at his home by Keeping Kids Safe after sending sick messages and nude pictures.

The moment the paedophile is snared

The moment the paedophile is snared

He thought he was talking to three girls aged 11, 12 and 14, because he was “lonely”.

After being ambushed by three paedophile hunters, he told them: “I didn’t want to meet anyone.”

Logged WhatApp messages show how he was told that a girl he was sexting was underage.

But he still appeared to barrage her with filthy messages and requests for nude pictures.

The messages on Whatsapp

The messages on Whatsapp

When he was caught in a video streamed live on Facebook, the vigilante group tell him: “You’re live on Facebook now, don’t go in.

“The police have been called, you’re not going anywhere.

“You’ve been messaging kids, haven’t you?

“How many underage kids have you been talking to, who were you meant to meet today at the train station?

“You’re under citizen’s arrest, section 24a.

“The police are coming for you - you’ve been grooming kids.

“You’ve been talking to at least three.

“Your taxi has been called, your neighbours already know what we’re here for, you’re not going to be talking to any kids for a while now are you?

“Unfortunately your mother is going to find out her son is being taken away for grooming children.

“Do you think it’s acceptable?

“Do you feel proud of what you’ve done, do you feel sorry for what you’ve done?”

A court heard how the vigilante group set up pseudo online profiles of young girls, and Collins believed he was communicating with girls who were 11 or 12 years old.

The conversations were sexual and he sent a naked picture of himself, asking one girl to send him nude photographs.

Collins, of Winshill, Staffs., appeared at Stafford Crown Court for sentencing via a video link from prison on Thursday.

He had previously admitted three offences of intentionally communicating with girls he knew were 16 or under for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification between June 25 and July 15 this year.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to take part in a rehabilitation programme to focus on his sex offending and he must register as a sex offender for the next 10 years.

The judge said he did not condone the actions of Keeping Kids Safe members and said vigilantism should be discouraged.

Judge Michael Chambers QC said that what Collins had done and had intended to do was very serious and all children deserved to be protected.

However, he said the reality was that no child was harmed or put at risk and that Collins had been ensnared by a vigilante group.

He said although the contact was with three named girls who did not exist, the communication was of an increasing sexual nature and demonstrated grooming.

Judge Chambers said he had to consider what may have happened had there been a real child that Collins had gone to meet but in this case the criminality was initiated by the actions of the vigilante group.

The court heard that Keeping Kids Safe, who pose as underage girls online in order to expose paedophiles, had set up three fictitious profiles of girls in June and July this year.

Prosecutor Darron Whitehead said Collins had exchanges over a three-week period with a girl the defendant thought was aged 12 and named 'Kirsty' and over a two weeks with a girl he thought was 11 and named 'Lexi' and for about a week with a girl named 'Tia'.

A decoy mobile phone number was posted and Collins had initiated contact with 'Tia' on July 10 and wanted confirmation of her age.

In chats on WhatsApp the defendant gave his age and asked 'Tia' about boyfriends and if she preferred older men.

Mr Whitehead said Collins asked if she would have sex with an older man and told her she was cute, but he was told that he was too old.

He also sent a picture of his private parts, made a sexual suggestion and encouraged her to send him nude pictures.

Mr Whitehead said Collins said he wanted to meet her and that he could collect her from the station in his car.

He said: "On July 15 he had arranged a meeting but he failed to turn up.

“However, the Keeping Kids Safe members knew where he lived and the make and model of his car and went to his address to locate him.

"When he was confronted he made some admissions and the police were called and he was arrested.”

Collins told police he was lonely and was not attracted to children and had not intended to attend any meeting.

The court heard Collins had had similar conversations with both 'Kirsty' and 'Lexi' in the previous weeks.

In 2007 Collins was convicted of 17 charges of downloading child pornography for which he had been given a three-year community order.

Stephen Hennessy, defending, said Collins was a "vulnerable, lonely, isolated and suicidal" man who lived with, and cared for, his sick 73-year-old mother.

He said no-one had been harmed and although there was an opportunity to meet the ficticious Tia it did not take place.

He said: "It was little more than a fantasy and there would not have been any personal contact."

Mr Hennessy said after the details of the confrontation on his doorstep was posted on social media Collins was remanded in custody for his own protection.

Several members of Keeping Kids Safe were in the public gallery and at the end of the hearing Judge Chambers said the actions of the vigilante group could not be condoned and should be discouraged.

Mr Hennessy said: "Investigation of serious crime should be left to the police and vigilante groups were not the answer and it is the view of the courts that it is not in the public interest and the motivation is questionable.”

A spokesperson for Keeping Kids Safe said: “Our children are the future and we must protect them at all costs - otherwise we will just be producing generation after generation of victims.

“We have cracked down on the epidemic of online grooming, our founder Patrick Fripps has been doing this since April 2017 and already he has had 44 arrests and holds a one hundred per cent conviction rate.

“We need to help and support from both police and judges in order to be proactive rather than reactive.”