Soldier Sam Dallow jailed after paedophile hunter 'sting'

Craftsman Sam Dallow (left) and Shane Brannigan (right) Image copyright Shane Brannigan
Image caption The moment Sam Dallow, left, is accosted by vigilante Shane Brannigan was caught on camera

A soldier who admitted grooming a child after sending explicit messages over the internet from his Army barracks, has been jailed.

Sam Dallow, from Birmingham, believed he was contacting a 14-year-old girl.

Instead, Dallow was messaging self-styled paedophile hunter Shane Brannigan, who reported the 25-year-old to the police.

Dallow was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court and told he would serve half his two year sentence in custody.

Dallow, of 6th Battalion The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, based at Tidworth, Wiltshire admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming at his plea hearing in May.

It followed a sting carried out at Andover train station on 11 April where the soldier was greeted by Mr Brannigan and a colleague who filmed their exchange.

Image caption Self-styled paedophile hunter Shane Brannigan, had been chatting to Dallow online while posing as a 14-year-old girl

Sentencing Dallow, the judge said although he had only been communicating with a "persona", his conduct had been persistent and demonstrated a "reckless, predatory behaviour towards children".

'Disgusting advances'

Dallow was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years.

An NSPCC spokesperson, said social media platforms could "do more" to protect children by providing "safer accounts".

"Although the target of his disgusting advances was fictitious, Dallow's grooming behaviour is a stark reminder of the risks children and young people face online," they said.

"Parents and carers have a key role to play and must talk to their children about online safety."

More on this story