Vile paedophile went to meet child, 12, carrying bag full of alcohol and condoms

A paedophile was caught by a gang of vigilantes posing as young girls online after attempting to meet up with a child.

Simon Hammerton, 33, had been exchanging messages online with multiple profiles, including one he believed to be a 12-year-old girl.

Hammerton, from Hyde, Manchester, was exposed to Greater Manchester Police by the online group after he turned up at a bus station to meet the Leicestershire child carrying a bag containing alcohol and condoms, reports Leicestershire Live.

He was under the impression that he was going to meet who he thought was an 11-year-old girl in July 2021, but was handed over to GMP by an online safety group and then arrested for child sexual offences.

After detectives got hold of his laptops and mobile phones, it was established that in the month prior, Hammerton had been speaking with ‘two girls’ that he thought were both the age of 12, encouraging them to send him explicit messages of themselves and speaking sexually.

A crown court heard that during their online conversation, he regularly told them he wanted to kiss them and one occasion encouraged a girl to send him photos of her in her underwear and school uniform.

Hammerton was also in contact with profiles who he believed to be two other girls aged 11 and 13.

During conversations with them, he sent images and videos of himself naked, including one he sent to the ’11-year-old girl’ of him performing a sex act.

He also tried to persuade the girl to send videos of her doing the same, the court heard.

Hammerton was arrested on the day that he had arranged to meet the youngest girl at Ashton bus station in Tameside, Greater Manchester.

On arrival, he was placed under citizen’s arrests and it was revealed that the ‘girls’ he had been in touch with were, in reality, adults posing as children.

Simon Hammerton, of Auburn Avenue, Hyde, was jailed for five years and four months. He was also made subject to Sexual Harm Prevention Order at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.

The 33-year-old admitted five counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act and two counts of attempting to cause a child to engage in penetrative sexual activity.

Detective Constable Sue Masheter of the Phoenix Tameside CSE Team said: “Child Sexual Exploitation takes place in many forms and in this case Hammerton engaged in online communications with what he believed were very young children, not sparing any thought for the lasting damage his actions could have.

“Unknown to Hammerton, the ‘children’ he thought he was communicating with were actually adults and thankfully we have now been able to remove a dangerous individual from our community and ensure that he is not able to inflict any further abuse.

“I would like to thank the members of the online safety group, namely STOP for their cooperation throughout this investigation.”

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