A pervert caught by an online paedophile vigilante group trying to cheat on his pregnant girlfriend with a 13-year-old girl has been jailed for two years.
Romanian national Adrian Stroe, 28, was caught on camera by the members of The Hunted One, a paedophile-hunting group, as he waited next to East Croydon train station.
A member of the group, referred to as B in court, lured him there after talking to him online pretending to be a 13-year-old girl called Lucy Stephens.
“Lucy” had made it clear she was only 13 and had never had sex before but Stroe, 28, had told her it would “only hurt for one or two minutes”.
The builder, who messaged Lucy also sent her pictures of his erect penis and told her he was 24, instead of 28.
At a previous hearing Romanian national Stroe admitted one count of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming and one count of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.
Today at Croydon Crown Court he was jailed for a total of two years and told he would have to sign the sex offenders register.
Prosecutor Grace Ong said: “B has been using the chat application to pose as prepubescent children under 16.
“He has been doing this in order to catch sexual predators engaging with young people for sexual reasons.
“He does this in the hope to try and make a difference and create awareness for young young people and families so they are aware there are sexual predators on the Internet.”
The court heard he posed as ‘Lucy Stephens’ on the messaging app Waplog, and received a a message from the defendant on August 18.
The prosecutor said: “He (Stroe) sent the message ‘Hi, how are you’ and he sent a picture of a penis. B then replied ‘I’m Lucy and I’m 13’.”
She added: “The communication turned sexual very early on with the defendant asking ‘Lucy’ if she watched porn movies.
“Shortly afterwards he sent a picture of himself in the bath with the message “you come to me?” and told Lucy he wanted her there “for fun maybe” and so they could shower together.”
The conversations went on and became more and more explicit with Stroe sending pictures of his erect penis and also pornographic images of men and women having sex.
In one conversation he listed the things he wanted to do with Lucy, saying he wanted her to give him oral sex and he wanted have full penetrative sex with her.
Ms Ong said: “He also sent her a picture involving anal sex and asked if she knew about anal sex and said ‘maybe we try’.”
B eventually arranged for ‘Lucy’ meet with the Romanian builder at East Croydon Railway station on September 3.
In the video of the confrontation a member of The Hunted One said: “You like meeting children for sex do you?”
Stroe said: “Really it’s not for that.”
When asked he failed to explain why he had planned to meet the underage girl.
Told he was in “big trouble” Stroe replied: “I think so – big trouble.”
Police eventually arrived and he was arrested.
In mitigation James Hasslacher for the defence said his client was remorseful and said said: “He had everything going for him, he was employed and his girlfriend was pregnant at the time.
“He is totally distraught at how he got himself into this position.”
The court heard he had been in the country for four years and worked at a building site in Imperial Wharf.
In sentencing Recorder Richard Merz said: “You contacted B on August 18 with the message ‘hi, how are you’ and you sent a picture of a penis.
“She said she was 13 and you told her you were 24. Right from the start you knew you were dealing with a 13 year old female.”
He said the offences were “so serious that no fine or community sentence could be justified”.
For the count of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming Stroe, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, and for one count of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act he was given 12 months, both to run concurrently.
He was also made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order preventing him from owning a computer unless approved by police and stopping him from approaching or contacting any female child under the age of 16.
Stroe, of Croydon, south London, bowed his head in the dock as the sentence was read out.
Speaking outside court a member of The Hunted One said: “We welcome the conviction and the sentence of two years.
“However this is just one case and for us the fight continues.”