Pervert caught attempting to meet schoolgirl for sex at Shields Ferry landing

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A pervert was snared by paedophile hunters when he turned up at a ferry landing to meet a schoolgirl for sex.

Louis Douglas thought he was chatting to a 15-year-old on social networking sites when he sent explicit messages.

Over the next three weeks, the 22-year-old sent the "girl" eight graphic videos of himself performing an intimate act, despite repeatedly being reminded of her age.

When Douglas arranged to meet the teenager for sex at the North side of the Shields Ferry, in North Tyneside, one afternoon in June last year he was confronted by online hunters Guardians of the North, who had set up the fake profile.

At Newcastle Crown Court Douglas, of Thirlmere Avenue, Cullercoats, North Tyneside, has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to attempting to engage a child in sexual activity and attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

Judge Edward Bindloss told him: "You started speaking to her, there's six years of age between you and sexual intercourse was anticipated.

"You were sending pictures and videos and the conversations were you grooming her.

"My duty demands that, given the aggravating features here, that a custodial sentence must follow."

The court heard Douglas started sending messages to the girl on Badoo in May last year and, by June, had carried on the conversations on Facebook.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister said the exchanges were initially just friendly but they soon progressed to a sexual nature, with him sending her pictures of

his genitals and videos of him performing a sex act.

Douglas also asked the girl to send naked images of herself before he suggested they meet up.

The court heard Douglas cancelled their first meeting because he was 'too shy' but turned up to the second at around 3pm on June 25 on the North side of the Shields Ferry.

Mr Pallister said: "Clearly, there is graphic exchange details where the defendant has made it clear, in no uncertain terms, he wanted to have sex with her, but he said it would be up to her.

"Messages between them show his intention was to have sex and that he knew she was 15.

"Members of Guardians of the North attended and saw the defendant and challenged him and said, 'Louis Douglas, you have been grooming a 15-year-old girl online'.

"They said the defendant became aggressive and was swinging around his crash helmet and one of the members took him in a bear hug and took him to the

ground."

An off-duty police officer happened to be walking by and Douglas was detained while uniformed officers attended.

On top of the jail term, Douglas must also abide by a sexual harm prevention order and sign The Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years.

Geoff Knowles, defending, said Douglas, who has no previous convictions, led an isolated life due to a disruptive upbringing.

He said: "He's a somewhat shy and naive young man. He's not someone who has had a string of girlfriends or that sort of thing. He’s emotionally naive in terms of his ability to interact with girls."