Paedophile caught in sting outside St Albans station is sent to prison
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An arts producer who expected to meet an underage girl for sex and was instead confronted by paedophile hunters outside St Albans City station has been jailed.
David Metcalfe, 51, of Newcastle, arrived at the railway station from London, thinking he was to meet a 13-year-old called Lizzie White.
But St Albans Crown Court heard yesterday (Thursday) that he was the target of a sting operation and Lizzie White was fictitious.
The court was told that when he was standing outside St Albans City station, he was filmed by self-styled paedophile hunters Katie and Neil Ivall, who operate under the name ‘Chris Fear’.
He was arrested and, when police examined his computer, they found he had been having conversations with girls, aged nine to 15, who also turned out to be fictitious. The officers discovered he travelled to Hartlepool beach where he expected to have sex with one of them.
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Metcalfe, of Haldane Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming between June 6, 2015 and August 2, 2015. He also pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming between September 10, 2015 and September 13, 2015.
Prosecutor Jai Patel said Lizzie White was made up by Katie Ivall and her profile and date of birth was placed on an Internet site showing children in school uniform.
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Metcalfe, who used the name David Langden, became her friend on the site, saying: “I love your pics.”
They agreed to meet up in St Albans. Lizzie said: “I am 13. Is that K [meaning OK]?”
He replied: “Yes it is OK with me. What would you be up for doing?”
Explicit conversations followed and the day before the meeting Metcalfe wrote: “Maybe your last night as a virgin.” She replied: “OMG - really.”
He also sent her a photo of his private parts, saying: “I hope you like it.”
Mr Patel said when Metcalfe was arrested, the police examined his computer and found he had been in contact with four fictitious girls and discussed sexual activity and meeting up.
He arranged to meet one girl for a beach party in Hartlepool, telling her to bring her friends. When she did not turn up, he sent her a message saying: “I can’t find you.”
Another girl told him she was aged only nine, he replied: “Wow, nice and very naughty.”
He also asked the 15 year old to send him a picture of her private parts. An image was sent to Metcalfe, said Mr Patel.
Chloe Fairley, defending, said Metcalfe had already spent six months in custody on remand. She said Metcalfe acknowledge he needed help and had sought psychological assistance.
She said: “He is a professional man with a very distinguished career which he spent a long time building up. That is lying in tatters. He acknowledges he has brought that on himself.”
Judge Jonathan Carroll said: “He has paedophile tendencies and has paedophile fantasies. On two occasions he tried to act them out. Fortunately, it was fictitious.”
Jailing him for two-and-a-half years, the judge told Metcalfe: “None of these girls existed. They were created to entice someone like you.”
Referring to an interview with a probation officer about the St Albans meeting, the judge said: “You appear to seek to minimise what your intentions were that night and made excuses. In my judgement you got on the train to St Albans with the clear intention of having sex with a 13 year old child.
“You are a paedophile. On two occasions you arranged to meet girls and on five occasions you sought to develop grooming relationships.”
Metcalfe must register as a sex offender and abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the next 10 years.