Paedophile hunters catch Edinburgh pervert sending 'nauseating and alarming' messages to 'schoolboy'

A pervert who sent “nauseating and alarming” messages to who he believed was a 14-year-old boy has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 4:45 pm

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Alistair Thorpe made contact with an online account belonging to a teenager called Tom Phillips and sent “extremely sexual” comments to him.

The 49-year-old asked the lad if he would “sleep with me” and told the boy he was “hot”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Stung: Perverted Alistair Thorpe

But instead of speaking to a teenager Thorpe was in contact with an adult decoy connected to the paedophile hunter group Child Protectors Scotland.

Thorpe was then confronted at his Edinburgh home by the group and the showdown was live streamed on Facebook.

Police were called in and after being arrested Thorpe admitted the offence during a subsequent interview in October 2019.

Thorpe pleaded guilty to attempting to contact who he believed was a 14-year-old boy for the purposes of sexual gratification between September 29 and October 24, 2019 when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in June.

He returned to the dock where Sheriff John Cook placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for three years.

The part-time cleaner was placed under the supervision of the social work department for the same period and handed a conduct requirement concerning his Internet access.

Thorpe was also placed on a restriction of liberty order and will have to stay within his home address between 7.30pm and 6am for the next 145 days.

Sheriff Cook said: “These were nauseating and alarming messages sent to who you believed was a child.

“In my view the public are better protected by imposing a community-based disposal rather than a short-term prison sentence.”

Previously fiscal depute Karima Stewart told the court Thorpe first contacted ‘Tom Phillips’ on Facebook and after sending several messages he tried to arrange a meeting with the lad.

Ms Stewart said the messages sent to the boy’s social media account contained highly sexual comments.

The fiscal added the paedophile hunters turned at Thorpe’s home on October 24, 2019 and “filmed his reaction” as they presented him with all their evidence.

Solicitor Richard Souter, defending, said Thorpe, from Edinburgh, had been “drinking heavily” at the time of the offence and “had little recollection of the conversations”.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.