A deaf paedophile who travelled 160 miles from his home to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex has been jailed after being caught out in a vigilante sting.
Kenneth Walker, 37, who turned up to the meeting with condoms, alcohol, a blanket and a teddy bear, is the sixth pervert to be locked up after being snared by vigilante group Dark Justice.
The anonymous internet group pose as teenagers online and arrange meetings with predators who believe they have been chatting to children.
When shocking conversations lead to the men asking to meet youngsters for sex, Dark Justice turn up with the police in tow.
Walker, who was accompanied by a sign language translator, admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and was jailed for three and a half years – the longest time a Dark Justice has so far been jailed for.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Walker contacted Dark Justice on social media website Waplog believing he was talking to a 13-year-old girl called Roxy.
Jonathan Devlin, prosecuting, said: “He was effectively trapped by two witnesses who posed as a 13-year-old girl on the Internet and engaged in conversation with the defendant.
“At all times the defendant was fully aware of the age of the person with whom he thought he was communicating.
“The initial contact was made by him on her.”
Mr Devlin told Newcastle Crown Court how when the girl reminded him she was 13 he replies saying he didn’t mind as long as she didn’t mind he was 37.
The court heard how Walker told the 13-year-old he would meet her in Newcastle and told her he would bring condoms, alcohol, baby wipes and the morning after pill to prevent the girl from becoming pregnant.
He travelled from his home town of Clifton, Nottingham, to Newcastle for the meeting on Friday, April 17, at the Centre for Life only to be spotted by Dark Justice and arrested by police.
He was taken to the police station where he was searched and he was found in possession of condoms, baby wipes, a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka, two cans of cider, a blanket and a teddy bear.
In police interview he accepted much of what was said and thought it was all right.
Jeff Taylor, defending, told the court Walker was “deeply remorseful”.
Mr Taylor said: “Mr Walker had been on the website looking for adult company.
“This is not a gentleman who was looking for children, he’s not trolling the website for children.
“He is someone who has been trapped by circumstance.
“His history is one of a very sad individual. The life style he’s had and what he has had to put up with had made him very vulnerable to making the wrong decisions.
“He lost his mother and siblings in a fire when he was seven and he lost his father to a heart attack when was was 10.
“His communication with the outside world appears to be through his computer as he can’t communicate with individuals.
“Custody would be twice as hard for him than it would be for any other person. He can’t communicate with other prisoners and I doubt they would be willing to communicate with him.”
Judge Jamie Hill QC told Walker: “I have to sentence you for an offence of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.
“An offence which spreads alarm and disgust among all right thinking people.
“You very rapidly contacted who you thought was a 13-year-old girl and very rapidly turned your conversation to sexual matters.
“I do recognise that you have a disability which will make life in custody difficult for you.
“I take the view this has to be an immediate custodial sentence.”
Judge Hill sentenced Walker, of Coldsbourne Road, to three and a half years in prison and ordered him to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely.
Dark Justice said after the case: “It’s an overwhelming sentence.
“It’s amazing, I am very pleased with the judge. It just goes to show what we do is working and it’s time people stared taking us seriously as we are not going anywhere.
“It proves that what we are doing is accepted by a judge and the CPS. It proves that we can make change. It may be only small steps but this proves the CPS and the judge take the evidence.”
Five men have already been put behind bars as a result of Dark Justice’s activities.
Roger Lee, 45, of Pewsey Road, Pewsy, Wiltshire, was jailed for two years and four months, John Rudd, 57, of Appleton Road, Stockton, was jailed for 12 months, Colin Patterson, 57, of St Anthony’s Road, Walker, Newcastle, was jailed for two years, Stephen Short, 57, of Blyth, Northumberland, was jailed for 16 months and Barry Scott, 50, of Warwick Road, Wallsend, North Tyneside, was jailed for 12 months.