A father-of-four who was snared by paedophile hunters while trying to meet a ’13-year-old girl’ for sex has been jailed for two years.
Raymond Carpenter, 40, was expecting to meet the ‘child’ at Manchester Piccadilly station on July 5 last year, but was instead met by up to a dozen members of the vigilante group, who live streamed the confrontation on Facebook.
The video shows Carpenter holding his head in his hands as the vigilantes tell him to ‘stop preying on our children’ and brand him ‘Raymond the monster of Manchester’.
It came after he had previously sent a picture of his genitals to the ‘girl’, whose social media account was being run by a decoy adult woman, Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court heard.
He was said to have been left ‘humiliated’ by the group, which calls itself the Elusive Child Protection Unit.
The video, in which Carpenter says he ‘made a mistake’ after being branded a ‘beast’, has since been viewed 250,000 times.
Carpenter was handed a two-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child, attempting to incite a child into sexual activity, and arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence
Bob Elias, mitigating, said his client was ‘terrified’ of going to jail.
Mr Elias said: ‘He is the lowest of the low as a sex offender.’
Mr Elias claimed Carpenter’s actions were all part of a ‘fantasy’ in his mind.
The court heard how Carpenter began chatting with the ‘girl’, known as Kimberley, asking her: ‘Are you a good girl or naughty?’
During the conversation the ‘girl’ told him she was only 13 years old.
But the chat became sexual and he asked whether she had seen a ‘man’s bits’, and if she had ever ‘played with herself’.
When Carpenter asked if she wanted to see ‘under his boxer shorts’, the girl said she was worried she might get in trouble.
He said if the girl deleted their chats then no-one else would know, the court heard.
Carpenter again asked if she wanted to see his genitals, and he sent a picture.
Carpenter was met by paedophile hunters who branded him a ‘beast’ and a ‘monster’ for trying to meet a ’13-year-old girl’ for sex
In a video live streamed to Facebook, Carpenter holds his head in his hands after being snared by paedophile hunters
He also sent a picture of him holding a snake, saying ‘it was as big as his privates’.
Carpenter told the ‘child’ he wanted to have sex with her before asking her to meet up with him.
He said he would ‘only do dirty things if she wanted to’ and asked her to wear red knickers as he ‘liked’ the colour, the court heard.
The decoy account passed the details of the arranged meet up to other members of the group.
Around ten people confronted Carpenter at the station on July 5 last year, along with police.
Mr Elias said Carpenter, of Failsworth, was remorseful and has no previous convictions for sexual offences.
Mr Elias said: ‘He found it exciting and fell into the trap that was prepared for him.
‘His world has crashed down around him. He was in tears this afternoon as I went through the sentencing guidelines.
‘He is desperately sorry.’
Raymond Carpenter, 40, was sentenced to two years in jail at Manchester’s Minshull Crown Court
The barrister appealed for Carpenter to be spared jail because there was no actual victim.
Mr Elias argued: ‘There is no good in locking him up, only harm to him and humiliation.
‘He has been thoroughly humiliated already by these paedophile hunters.
‘It is an offence in his own fantasy, an offence in his mind. It was never going to happen.’
But the judge, Recorder Michael Duck QC, said the offence was too serious.
He told Carpenter: ‘I accept this has wreaked havoc upon your life.
‘But those who engage in this sort of behaviour have to understand the consequences.
‘It is plain you believed you were conversing with a 13-year-old girl.
‘It is plain from the conversations that took place what your intentions were.’