A “paedophile hunter” says he snared a man at a Wigan railway station after tricking him into thinking he was meeting a 14-year-old girl.
The man was reportedly caught arriving at Wigan North Western on Thursday evening, having travelled to the town from Liverpool in the hopes of meeting the teenager.
Unbeknownst to him, he had actually been speaking with 28-year-old Danny Holding from Hindley, who was lying in wait and armed with pictures and screenshots of the vile conversations.
“He’d been talking to what he thought was a 14-year-old for a number of weeks,” Danny said.
“He’d been planning to take her back to Liverpool, get her drunk and teach her how to perform sexual acts on herself and him.
“He arrived at about 6.58pm. I noticed him, went over and asked him to come outside, and we went around to the back of the station.”
After questioning the man for around 10 minutes, Danny summoned a security guard from the station, who in turn contacted British Transport Police (BTP). Officers took a statement from Danny before taking the would-be paedophile away.
“He had been very calm,” Danny said.
“He kept asking me not to read out what he’d been messaging this ‘girl’, because he was disgusted with himself. But he was very aware of what he was doing, and what he said.”
But Danny was quick to stress that the work by himself and other sting operations was not strictly not vigilantism.
He said: “I just meet these people, question them, I tell them from the start that they are not under threat. Then we pass them on to the police.”
Last September, the UK’s lead police officer on child protection said that self-professed paedophile hunters could soon have an official role in helping police operations, due to budget cuts.