Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hemel Hempstead: Paedophile group catch sex offender

David Bond Image copyright South Bedfordshire News Agency
Image caption David Bond, 71, had swimsuits with him he had bought for the girl

A retired solicitor was snared by paedophile hunters posing on the internet as a 14-year-old girl.

David Bond, 71, had expected to meet a schoolgirl at Hemel Hempstead railway station, but was confronted by a group who track down potential abusers.

Bond was jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.

Judge Barbara Mensah told Bond he had "brought shame not only on yourself but also on your family".

Bond, who had booked a £300 a night room at a nearby hotel, had with him swimsuits he had bought for the girl, sex toys, condoms and a pregnancy testing kit, Luton Crown Court heard.

'Marriage ended'

Between December 2017 and January 2018, Bond, of Ferry Quays, Brentford, west London, was in contact with someone online who he thought was a 14-year-old girl called Jess, the court was told.

The profile clearly indicated the girl was vulnerable and troubled, the trial heard, but this did not stop Bond grooming her for sex.

In fact it was a fake profile posted by members of Team Impact to snare online potential abusers such as Bond, the court heard.

When Bond arrived to meet the girl at Hemel Hempstead on 27 January last year he was confronted instead by the group who videoed and detained him until the police arrived.

The footage was later posted online.

Before sentencing, his barrister Julia Flanagan told the court Bond's 36-year-old marriage had ended as a result of the offence.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and his name will go on the sex offenders register for the next 10 years.

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