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Crowland 'paedophile hunter' admits downloading pornographic images of children and dogs

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A Crowland man found in possession of dozens of pornographic images of children, claimed he was trying to trap paedophiles to hand over to the police, a court has been told.

James Pratt (42), of Millfield Gardens, admitted the offences when he appeared at Boston Magistrates Court.

Prosecutor Kate Minehane said police went to his home after receiving information that a computer at that address had downloaded images from the internet, and seized his mobile phone and the hard drive from a computer.

Boston Magistrates' Court (48821611)
Boston Magistrates' Court (48821611)

She said they found 16 still and seven moving images in category A, seven still and three moving images in category B and 28 still and two moving image in category C, as well as three extreme images involving sex with a dog.

She said he admitted sending images to other people but claimed he was a paedophile hunter even though he had not in fact handed anything over to, or been in contact with, the police.

Mitigating, Michael Alexander said Pratt was of good character with no previous convictions, but his motivation to help the police, had been wrong.

He said Pratt had been posing as a young girl and had only sent one image which had been to a person he was trying to catch.

Mr Alexander said Pratt was not offered a caution by the police only because of the length of the videos he had in his possession.

“He understands he got this completely wrong,” said Mr Alexander “he thought he was trying to help.”

The magistrates adjourned the case for sentence on July 28 and called for a report from the Probation Service and he was granted unconditional bail.

Pratt was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register with immediate effect.

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