Paedos snared in online sting
Date published: 18 July 2014
THREE dangerous online paedophiles have been brought to justice after being caught using teen chatrooms to prey on children by an Oldham man posing as a 12-year-old girl.
Lee Barton (47), of Chestnut Avenue, Doncaster, and Daniel Bates (36), of Harcourt Close, Warrington, were sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, yesterday after admitting making sexual advances to who they thought was a 12-year-old girl online.
On the “Teen Chat” website, Barton, Bates and Philip James Moule (66), of Thorrington Cross, Basildon, Essex, all made obscene and disturbing sexual advances to who, in their mind, was a little girl. They were all in fact talking to trainee lawyer Steven Walker (26) and his girlfriend Samantha Roberts (20), from Shaw.
Samantha was repeatedly raped when she was 12 by Shakil Chowdhury, 36 at the time, who then invited his friends to do the same.
She was appalled at the six-year sentence her attacker was given and has since been campaigning for harsher sentences on such offenders. She has waived her automatic legal right to anonymity to help her cause.
The Oldham couple revisited Teen Chat — the site where Samantha first met her attacker — in April, 2013, to see what it was like now.
To their disgust they found it was riddled with opportunist adults preying on vulnerable teenagers and decided that action needed to be taken.
Steven said: “Myself and Sam decided to go on the website to see what it was like now and to see if there were predators on there. Our intention was not to catch anyone out or trap anyone, we were just observing and could not believe what we found.
“We posed as a 12-year-old girl on there and within 10 seconds there were over 40 adults trying to talk to us.
“We did not encourage any kind of indecent behaviour, we were very passive in the conversation and these people were asking sexual things and were being really inappropriate without us prompting them.”
Steven and Samantha have now launched a campaign to fight for tougher sentences for child-sex offenders, called “You Have Not Defeated Me”.
Visit www.youhavenotdefeated.me for more information.
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