A MAN was exposed sending sick images to what he thought was a young girl in a sting set up by paedophile hunters.
Adam Dunstan (31) contacted the profile of ‘Gigi Brown’ on the messaging app Kik in January 2018, Bournemouth Crown Court heard.
The profile, which stated she was an 11-year-old, was in reality being run by an adult from Skid Community which aims to expose paedophiles trying to meet children.
Dunstan’s chat with her quickly turned sexual, with him asking for and receiving pictures, before telling her she would “look great in a bikini”, prosecutor Victoria Ms Hill said.
As the conversation progressed, Dunstan’s chat was “inappropriate” and he sent her images, including selfies, and then videos of adults having sex. He also sent her indecent images of children, including of young girls in suggestive poses wearing school uniforms.
Even when ‘Gigi’ asked him to stop he asked her: “What are you wearing?” When she criticised his attitude he stopped the conversation and asked her to delete it.
Ms Hill said the Skid Community posted online the selfies Dunstan had sent the girl – including one image which in fact was of his work colleague.
That led to the innocent person becoming aware that his photo was being shared online along with suggestions he was an offender. He contacted Skid Row and told them he had sent the selfie only to Dunstan.
It was that and a distinctive phone case Dunstan had – viewable in one photo he sent to ‘Gigi’ – that led to police being able to identify him.
Dunstan was arrested and police seized two phones. One had been factory reset, while the other was found to contain two indecent images of young children. One was at Category B and the other Category C, the lowest level of seriousness.
Dunstan appeared in court having pleaded guilty to five charges at an earlier hearing, including attempting to engage in sexual conversation with a child, causing a child under 13 to look at images of a person engaging in sexual acts, and distributing indecent photos.
Dunstan, of Brookside, Burton, also fell to be sentenced for two counts of making indecent images of children.
Defending, Keeley Harvey said her client was hugely remorseful and apologetic. She pointed out it was two years to the day since Dunstan was arrested. The stress and shame he had suffered had caused his hair to fall out, anxiety and other mental health issues.
During that time Skid Community had pressured him and his family, as well as his employers who had now sacked him.
Judge Pawson noted the delay in bringing the charges, which Ms Hill said was down to the “backlog” of similar cases Dorset Police was dealing with.
Sentencing, Judge Pawson said Dunstan’s contact with ‘Gigi’ “quickly progressed” in a sexualised manner.
However, he felt there was a chance the defendant could be rehabilitated by completing probation courses and that would be “in the general public’s best interest”.
He handed Dunstan a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete a rehab course and an activity requirement.
He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years and was given a sexual harm prevention order for the same length of time.
Judge Pawson said the most aggravating factor in the case was that an “entirely innocent man” had been implicated.
He also questioned whether Skid Community committed a criminal offence by posting a picture of the work colleague online and suggesting he was a paedophile.
“It’s undoubtedly defamatory,” Judge Pawson said. “To be identified on social media as a paedophile when you are no such thing… it’s hard to imagine something more destructive.”
He added that it was a “graphic illustration” of the dangers of the public getting involved in justice.