Paedophile hunters trapped an online sex predator and helped bring him to justice

Pictured is Jonathan Richardson, 59, of Foxcote Way, Walton, Chesterfield, who pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child into sexual communication and attempting to incite a child into sexual activity. Picture courtesy of Derby Telegraph.
Pictured is Jonathan Richardson, 59, of Foxcote Way, Walton, Chesterfield, who pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child into sexual communication and attempting to incite a child into sexual activity. Picture courtesy of Derby Telegraph.

A sex predator was trapped by paedophile hunters after one of them posed online as a 13-year-old girl.

Derby Crown Court heard this month how Jonathan Richardson, 59, of Chesterfield, told the teen he was giving her “free education” when he asked her intimate details about what she knew about sex.

Pictured is Derby Crown Court.

Pictured is Derby Crown Court.

Richardson engaged in sexualised online chat with what he believed was a 13-year-old girl but the fake contact was really a self-styled paedophile hunter, according to the court.

He told the contact that he was giving her “free education” when he asked intimate details about what she knew about sex.

But on April 5 the group of online vigilantes, who call themselves The Soloceptors, turned up at his address and confronted him.

Judge Jason Macadam told Richardson: “Right-minded people of an adult age would be revolted at the thought of having such conversations and initiating such conversations.

“I don’t know why you would indulge in this behaviour and I can’t imagine the horror, the harm and the distress your offences have caused your family.

“I have no idea why you even embarked on this and I don’t accept your claim that you did not get sexual gratification for it.

“But I certainly think you need help.”

Sarah Allen, prosecuting, said Richardson started talking online to Shelly in November, 2018, and carried on communicating with her until March of this year.

She said during their online chats she told him very quickly she was 13-years-old and their conversations were initially about everyday things.

Miss Allen said he soon started engaging in more sexualised chat.

She said: “He said he was giving her free sex education and he told her not to discuss anything they were talking about with her mother.

“He called her naughty for not telling her mother she was on the (chat) application.”

Miss Allen said during the early part of 2019 Richardson and the contact carried on talking to each other online but their conversation did not mention anything sexual.

But she added that on April 5 the paedophile hunters went to his address in Foxcote Way, Walton, Chesterfield.

Miss Allen said: “Due to their behaviour the police had to attend and the defendant was arrested shortly after.

“His wife was screaming and distressed.”

Richardson pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a child into sexual communication and attempting to incite a child into sexual activity.

The defendant was sentenced to a two-year community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

He was also made subject to a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and he has been placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for five years.

Rebecca Stevens, defending, said Richardson would lose his job if he is sent to jail.

She said: “Happily, there was not a real 13-year-old child involved and there is no suggestion he would do anything to her or anyone else.

“She was not asked to send any photographs. He bitterly regrets is actions.”