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Jailed: Wolverhampton paedophile hunters trap HIV-positive man hoping to meet boy, 12, for sex

By David Banner | Wednesfield | Crime | Published:

An HIV-positive man caught by paedophile hunters while trying to meet a 12-year-old boy for sex in Wolverhampton has been jailed.

David Cox, 52, of Winifreds Drive, Donnington, Telford, had gone to Wednesfield Park on March 18 believing he was meeting a boy whose profile he had found on the gay dating app Grindr.

Instead he was met by members of the Internet Interceptors group who confronted him with evidence of graphic sexual images and messages he had sent to the fictitious boy, who he believed was from Wolverhampton.

The fake profile was set up by Wolverhampton members of the Internet Interceptors, a group which works across the country to gather evidence against paedophiles.

The court was told that Cox had gone to the meeting with a bag of sexual items, but no condoms – despite being HIV positive. Antonie Muller, prosecuting, told the court that the person communicating with Cox through the Grindr profile had been a female member of Internet Interceptors.

He said: “In this case the profile she presented was of a 12-year-old boy said to have ADHD and said to be living with his single mother.

“The interaction between Mr Cox and the woman started on March 5 and the defendant was quickly asking to meet the 12-year-old, also saying 'I am not bothered about age'.”

Mr Christopher O’Gorman, for Cox, said that no child had been at risk.

He said: “The child was not put in danger, it being an operation carried out by vigilantes.”

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Mr O’Gorman told the court that there had been condoms in Cox’s car which the police had not searched.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Barrie said there was no doubt Cox believed he had been going to meet a 12-year-old boy.

He said: “The fact that the internet harbours sites such as Grindr does not mean anyone has to make use of them. If you do then it is quite clear you are looking for sexual contact.

“From the outset the contact you had in this case, the person you were talking with, told you he was aged 12.

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“You set about the process of grooming that person, setting up a meeting at which I am satisfied you intended and expected sexual contact would take place.”

Cox, who had pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to cause a child under 13 to watch an image of a person engaging in sexual activity, and another of attempting to meet a child under 16 following sexual grooming, was jailed for a total of 27 months at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Speaking after the sentence one member of Internet Interceptors responsible for catching Cox said: “Out of 49 convictions we have he is possibly the worst sexual predator we have ever come across.”

The paedophile hunter, who goes by the name of Gordon, said he would have liked to have seen a greater sentence.

“The sentence does not reflect the crime. It should have been a lot higher," he said.

“He should have been remanded in custody from the off.”

The man said that the fake profile had only been up on Grindr for 20 minutes before Cox contacted them.

Gordon said he hoped their group could work more closely with the police to help catch more offenders in the future.

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