Paedophile jailed after Newport train station sting

Media caption,
Andrew Simut admitted a string of offences at Newport Crown Court

A paedophile who travelled from London to south Wales has been jailed for three years.

Adrian Simut, 35, travelled to Newport train station, where he thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl called Sam.

But he was confronted by so-called "paedophile hunters" and later arrested, Newport Crown Court was told.

He admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and meeting a child after online grooming.

He also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

The court heard Simut started messaging the teenager in an online chat room in June, saying she looked "cute and beautiful".

But she was in fact an adult belonging to a group called Petronus.

Image source, Gwent Police
Image caption,
Simut pleaded guilty to grooming and trying to meet a child

The operation was captured on film by the BBC Wales Week In Week Out programme, which investigated the role of paedophile hunters in Wales.

The court heard that Romanian national Simut arranged to meet "Sam" in Newport and suggested she bring a friend for sexual activity.

Sentencing him, Judge Michael Fitton QC said: "You were the subject of an exchange conducted by those who are looking to attract paedophiles."

He was also made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Paedophile hunting groups have drawn criticism from both the Home Office and police, who have said it was inappropriate for the public to conduct undercover work.

They have urged anyone with information to instead pass it to them instead.

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