Pervert snared in Wolf Pack vigilante sting escapes jail term

A PERVERT caught in an internet vigilante sting has escaped a jail term.

Saturday, 6th October 2018, 12:55 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th October 2018, 1:02 pm
Sheriff Court, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

Edward Barr had arranged to meet up with a person who he thought was “13-year-old Nicky Walker” for sex after chatting to her online for weeks.

But when Barr turned up to the meeting point in Edinburgh carrying a tube of lubricant he was met by members of the vigilante group Wolf Pack Hunters UK.

The paedophile vigilante group had set up the fake online account in a bid to snare child sex abusers like Barr.

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And it soon emerged Barr, from Livingston, had arranged to meet the youngster just six weeks after his name had been taken off the sex offenders register for a previous offence.

Barr was earlier caught with child abuse images on his mobile phone and was placed under supervision and on the sex offenders register for two years following an appearance at Livingston Sheriff Court in 2015.

The 29-year-old chef was back in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday for sentencing after he previously pleaded guilty to making arrangements to meet a 13-year-old girl with the intention of engaging in sexual activity between January 31 and February 5 this year.

Sheriff Alison Stirling decided to spare the pervert from a custodial sentence and instead placed him on a supervision order for three years and told him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Sheriff Stirling also placed Barr on the sex offenders register four three years and added he must take part in sessions with a sex offender treatment programme.

Previously, prosecutor Kim Schofield told the court a female decoy with the Wolf Pack Hunter UK team set up a fake online account claiming to be a 13-year-old schoolgirl.

Ms Schofield said: “Initially the conversations [between Barr and the decoy] were nonsexual but it developed to discussing sex at the behest of the accused. The decoy said she was 13.

“On January 4 this year the accused asked the decoy if they could meet up with the intention of having sex.

“He said he was off work the following day and arrangements were made to meet at her house.”

The following day Barr emailed the decoy to say he was on his way to the meeting point near to an underpass in Sighthill, Edinburgh.

The woman then contacted other members of the online vigilante group to alert them Barr was travelling to Edinburgh to meet her.

The fiscal added: “The Hunters approached him at a bus stop at around 1.20pm. The accused confirmed he was there to meet the 13-year-old female and police were contacted.

“They arrived at 1.45pm to find the accused surrounded.

“They intervened and the accused was arrested and was found in possession of a mobile phone and a tube of lubricant.”

Solicitor Iain Smith, defending, said his client has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and since his latest arrest had been attending sessions with the Stop It Now organisation.