Steven McCarthy

An internet pervert who turned up to meet a 13-year-old girl he had chatted to online found himself confronted by Dark Justice

Unemployed Steven McCarthy believed he had been talking to an underage schoolgirl on Facebook and arranged to meet her at Alnwick bus station in Northumberland – after saying her tender years would not put him off having sex.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when the 46-year-old arrived he was confronted by members of Dark Justice, an anonymous organisation which exposes men looking for sex with young girls.


The organisation had notified Northumbria Police about the undercover sting and had officers in tow.

McCarthy, of Upper Howick Street, Alnwick, was arrested and pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Prosecutor Lee Fish told the court McCarthy had sent a friend request to a Facebook profile of a 13-year-old and engaged her in chat.

When asked what he wanted, McCarthy posted “Sex, if you want.”

Mr Fish added: “At that point, the girl said ‘Does my age not put you off, being 13?’.

“His response was ‘Not at all, babe’.

“The prosecution case is that it could not have been clearer, the defendant knew he was speaking to someone who was supposed to be a 13-year-old girl.”

The court heard McCarthy repeated that the girl’s age did not put him off when they arranged to meet for a drink and he agreed there would be “kissing and stuff”.

On August 13 McCarthy turned up at the bus station carrying cans of lager.

He told police the alcohol was for him and insisted his plan was for the girl to go in his bed while he slept on the sofa.

He admitted he may have kissed the girl.

Judge Robert Adams told McCarthy: “Of course there was no child, but you believed at the time you were communicating with a 13-year-old.

“It was made very clear to you the person you thought you were communicating with was 13.

“You were even asked whether the age of the person put you off and you said ‘not at all’.”

Judge Adams said “it is not known what would have happened” if there had been an actual girl at the meeting.

McCarthy was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and group work requirements.

He must sign the sex offenders’ register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

Judge Adams said the intensive requirements of the orders, aimed at dealing with his “warped” desires, would better serve the public than a prison sentence would.

Richard Bloomfield, defending, said McCarthy, who has never been in trouble before, is not a sexual predator and represents a more “pathetic” character.

Richard Hewitt

Paedophile who thought he was meeting 13-year-old girl for sex tried to smash his phone and ‘fought like a pitbull’ when he was confronted by Dark Justice

A paedophile caught out by Dark Justice ‘bent his phone like a banana’ to destroy evidence and fought ‘like a pitbull’ when he was confronted in the street, one of the campaigners said.
Richard Hewitt, 40, drove 200 miles from Cheshire to Newcastle thinking he was going to meet a 13-year-old girl after he made contact on a teen chat room.
He had asked the girl called ‘Jessie’ for naked selfies and sent her Whatsapp messages asking for sex, telling her ‘I will be your first’.



Hewitt, who has been subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) since 2007, did not realise the profile was a fake, set up by Dark Justice.

The group has been running for two years this month and has led to 64 people being arrested.

When Hewitt arrived in Newcastle in August, the group blocked in his car to stop him leaving.

The campaigners said he ‘absolutely flipped’ when they stopped him and tried to smash his phone to destroy evidence.

One of the campaigners suffered a bite injury to the arm and the other a suspected dislocated thumb.

They said: ‘He looks like a chihuahua, but he fought like a pitbull.’


Hewitt, who has 26 offences on his record, admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and breaching his SOPO.

Judge Robert Adams jailed him for two years, saying Hewitt had a ‘bad record for sexual offending’.

The judge told him: ‘You arranged to meet her in Newcastle, you drove to Newcastle, you told her it would be OK, you would be her first.

‘When you got here you sent a picture of yourself driving as you approached.

‘Your vehicle was trapped by members of Dark Justice to stop you from driving away.

‘You became agitated and tried to damage your own phone, knowing what might be on it.

‘There is an obvious risk of you committing further offences, as demonstrated by your repeated offending.

‘You have a very bad record for sexual offending generally. The 13-year-old girl in fact did not exist. We do not know what precisely you would have done.’


Hewitt, from Great Sutton, Ellesmere Port, appeared in court via a prison videolink.

During the sentencing, he mumbled ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I need help’ until the judge told him to stop interrupting.

Outside court, Dark Justice activist ‘Scott’ said he and his counterpart ‘Callum’ were injured in a struggle during the consultation, although police did not charge Hewitt with any offence of violence.


He said: ‘We were on a chat room and he popped up and straight away messaging us, saying ‘I would like to meet you’.

‘He travelled up the same day.’

Scott said: ‘He snapped his own phone and bent it like a banana, trying to destroy the evidence.

‘He went crazy, he absolutely flipped out.

‘He looks like a chihuahua, but he fought like a pitbull.

‘He tried to take my phone. I was a bit shocked at the time. I wasn’t scared, more angry.

‘We have been spat on, but never anything like this.

‘This is the 64th arrest and 34th conviction – we will have been going for two years on October 30, and nothing like this has happened before.’

William Orr

PERV SNARED Sicko confronted by Dark Justice was arrested as he tried to flee to the airport

William Orr, 55, was caught on camera by vigilante group Dark Justice after arranging to meet a 15-year-old boy for sex in Newcastle.

When told he had fallen into a trap he sped off in his car – and was nicked 250 miles away as he fled to Stansted airport in Essex.

Dad of three Orr was given a suspended jail sentence after he admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Newcastle crown court heard he contacted a teenager called Tom on Gay Chat – but in fact the fake profile had been set up by the vigilante group.

Minutes later Orr, who claimed to be 43, began communicating with the boy on the Kik app and sent him explicit pictures of himself in underwear and performing a sex act.

He tried to persuade the youngster to “send a xxx pic back” even after he said he was only 15.

Orr also revealed he was anxious about being “set up”, asked the boy to prove he was “real” and ordered him to delete their chat and start a new one claiming he was above the age of consent.



Patrizia Doherty said: “He asked to meet up with Tom despite being reminded several times that Tom was only 15-years-old.

“The defendant said to Tom, ‘do you have a big c**k’ and ‘I can make you very happy’.

“There was some grooming behaviour used against the victim and significant disparity in age.

“He said he was 43 knowing full well Tom was 15. He was 54 at the time.”

Orr arranged to meet the boy after midnight in a car park near Newcastle College.




When he was confronted on camera by a man introducing himself as part of Dark Justice, Orr said “Are you f***” and sped off, the court heard.

Dark Justice passed his number plate to Northumbria Police, and colleagues in Essex arrested him hours later as he drove to Stansted.

Ms Doherty said: “He was trying to get away.”

Orr has a previous conviction for outraging public decency after he was caught carrying out a sex act on Seaburn Beach by a group of teenage boys in 2013.

The barrister said: “He has been confused about his sexuality. He thinks he’s not bisexual but rather homosexual at this stage. He’s found therapy extremely helpful.

“He lost his wife leaving him with three children to bring up on his own while working.

Judge Penny Moreland told Orr: “Tom told you he was 15. You continued to talk with him and then on the Kik application.

“By 11 o’clock you had suggested to him the two of you meet and by 20 past midnight you had travelled to the car park near Newcastle College where you found there was no such person as Tom.”

Orr was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to attend a sex offenders rehabilitation programme.

Simon Bagley

Dark Justice snare Simon Bagley, 42 who groomed ’13-year-old girl’ and told her he wanted to take her virginity

Simon Bagley believed he had been chatting to a young girl named Charlotte on the social networking website Hi5.

But when the 42-year-old went to meet her in Newcastle, he was instead confronted by paedophile hunters Dark Justice, who had been operating the account.

Bagley had contacted one of the group’s decoy accounts and told the fictitious girl that her age did not matter.

He also told her that he wanted to take her virginity regardless, before asking if she had ‘nice boobs’ and telling her to send him a picture of her dressed in school uniform.

Prosecutor Christoper Rose told the court how Bagley was made aware immediately of the girl’s age, but persisted in pursuing her.

He said: ‘He said that her age was not a problem. The defendant asked her if they could have sex.

‘He asked for her to let him take her virginity. He asked her to have a shower with him and he was complimentary to her, asking her for pictures.


‘When asked by police, he said that he only went there to warn Charlotte about the dangers of meeting up with strangers – he knew that he has been stood up.’

Bagley of Hendon, Sunderland, admitted attempting to meet a child under the age of 16.

Tony Hawks, defending, told the court: ‘He is pathetic and vulnerable.


‘It was an attempt to meet a girl under the age of 16. He was working but had not for a number of years – he has now worked up a debt of £4,000.’

Judge Paul Sloan QC sentenced Bagley to 12 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years.

He also imposed a 60 day rehabilitation order.

Judge Sloan told Bagley: ‘You asked her inappropriate questions like if she had nice boobs.

‘You wanted pictures of her in her school uniform. You went to meet the girl at Times Square and were shocked when you were confronted by members of Dark Justice.


‘You then told police that you were only there to teach Charlotte about dangers, something I simply don’t accept.

‘I can see that your parents have come out to support you, and they have continued to support you throughout.

‘If this was more than an attempt then you would be given an immediate custodial sentence.’

Martyn Ager