Swindon man arrested on suspicion of meeting a child following grooming

A man from Swindon has been arrested on suspicion on meeting a child following grooming, after being being confronted by a Paedophile hunter in the town centre yesterday.

The 28-year-old father-of-one is alleged to have arranged to meet who he believed was a 14-year-old girl, but was instead confronted by an undercover journalist from the newly formed south west England-based organisation Western Hunters.

A spokesperson for Western Hunters said: “At around 6.30pm yesterday evening, 22 June, one of our undercover journalists – often known to the public as Paedophile hunters – met a 28-year-old father outside Primark in Swindon Town centre.

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“He was there to meet one of our decoys, who was representing a 14-year-old girl, following a conversation on a meet-up app earlier in the day.

“Subsequently, our undercover journalist detained the man (without any the use of physical force) for meeting a child following grooming under Section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Although he did not meet an actual child on this occasion, the offence still stands.

“A short time later, Wiltshire Police arrived at the scene and our evidence was handed to the officers attending. The man was then arrested for the aforementioned offence and taken into custody at Gablecross police station.

“We are unable to comment further or give more detailed information on this case while a police investigation is ongoing.”

A 28-year-old Swindon man has appeared before Swindon Magistrates today (Friday 23 June 2017) charged with attempting to cause/incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Mark Lee Smith of no fixed address has been released on conditional bail to attend crown court on Friday 21 July 2017 at 10am.

This follows an arrested made by Wiltshire Police officers yesterday evening (approx. 6.30pm on Thursday 22 June 2017) in Swindon Town Centre.