Moment grandad caught trying to meet ‘girl’, 14, then says he’s ‘bloody foolish’

This is the moment a pensioner was snared taking the train to meet a 14-year-old “girl” – after engaging in sexual conversations with her on the phone.

Grandad William Lance admitted he was “bloody foolish” when he was met by online paedophile hunters at a York train station in 2019.

The 83-year-old had been messaging who he thought was a young girl, but was in fact a fake account run by the North West Hebephile Hunters group.

Footage taken at the time of his arrest shows him being asked what should happen to offenders who engage in sexual conversations with young girls.

“I think they should go to jail, I think it's right and I think I should go,” he replies. “I’ve been silly, I've been stupid.

“I did the wrong thing, so I get punished.”

He admits “talking about sex” and, when asked why, says: “It just went into the natural rhythm of things.”

And that is exactly what happened when the ex-British Steel worker’s case was brought before a judge at Teesside Crown Court last week, Teesside Live reports.

The court heard how the dad-of-seven started messaging who he believed was a teenager in September 2019.

He sent an intimate image of himself, encouraging the “girl” to perform a sex act on herself and then arranged to meet her in York, where he was eventually caught.

Lance, of Keswick Road, Redcar, was jailed for 12 months by judge Stephen Ashurst, who also made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

Police later found two pornographic images of young girls on his phone.

He pleaded guilty to incite a girl to engage in sexual activity, attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming, attempting to have a sexual communication with a child and two counts of making an indecent photo of a child.

North West Hebephile Hunters posted on social media after the sentencing: "As you can see, the charges weren't just in relation to the decoy activity so any suggestion we have 'set up a lonely old man' is utterly ludicrous.

"Custodial sentences are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain but we are happy that the courts have seen this individual for what he is and demonstrated that old age and frailty are not a valid reason for leniency."

It comes after a police detective claimed paedos have become more afraid of vigilante groups than authorities themselves.

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