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Adrian Fantanaru lured to meet girl in Luton by 'vigilantes'

Luton railway station Image copyright Thomas Nugent
Image caption The court heard Adrian Fantanaru went to Luton Railway Station to meet "Louise"

A man has been jailed for 27 months after being lured by "vigilantes" to meet a fictional 14-year-old girl at a railway station.

The judge warned that courts "cannot encourage groups like this" while sentencing Adrian Fantanaru, 34, of Doncaster.

A group calling itself The Fear Team trapped the man in Luton following an exchange of messages and photos.

The man, from Romania, admitted sexual grooming.

Luton Crown Court heard Fantanaru, of Coronation Road, Balby, used Facebook to contact who he thought was a girl called "Louise".

'No real victim'

Over the course of three days in August more than 900 messages were exchanged, including sexually explicit conversations and photographs.

When the defendant arrived at Luton Railway Station expecting to meet "Louise", he was confronted by The Fear Team and police were called.

Judge Richard Foster said: "This group had taken upon itself to track down individuals they perceived to be paedophiles.

"The courts cannot encourage vigilantes or groups like this and the proper course of action is to involve the police and to leave the police to do the work."

Fantanaru had pleaded guilty to an offence of attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 following sexual grooming.

Laban Leake, defence counsel, said: "By the grace of God there was no real victim here."

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