Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Online Predator Snared by Mum of Young Target

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Online Predator Snared by Mum of Young Target

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Kennedy Reporter rob.kennedy@ncjmedia.co.uk

A MUM posed as her 11-year-old daughter to help snare an online predator who was trying meet the child for sex.

Jonathan Evans, 23, had befriended the youngster on Facebook and they exchanged messages as he set about grooming her.

Luckily the girl's mother checked her account on the social networking site and realised her daughter had been communicating with a man.

After speaking to the police, the woman decided to pose as her daughter in order to see what Evans would say. Despite being told how young she was, he quickly turned the conversation to sex and arranged to meet her at Eldon Square, in Newcastle.

As Evans was jailed for eight months, the mum said in a statement to the court: "My fear is the thought of what could have been and what would have happened if she had agreed to meet him.

"How many children have agreed to meet people and didn't return home? "When I told him her real age the conversation really changed to him talking dirty. I found it disgusting.

"This is one of the things I'm struggling with, that somebody could speak to a child in this way when they know how old they are.

"These events have affected me more than my daughter, as we have tried to protect her from what has gone on."

Jonathan Devlin, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court the offending was revealed last year.

He said: "The matter came to light when the child's mother opened the child's Facebook account in May last year and saw messages from the defendant.

"The lady became concerned about why an adult was sending messages to her 11-year-old daughter and she entered the conversation, pretending to be that girl.

"The police advised her to maintain contact with the suspect to establish what he might say."

Evans had believed the girl was 16 for a time but the mother, posing as her daughter, told him she was 12, a year older than her actual age. …

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