Police warning to activist groups as ‘paedophile hunter’ sent to prison

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Police have welcomed a custodial sentence handed down to a so-called paedophile hunter in Craigavon

Caolan Murray, 25, of Mark Court, Lurgan, was sentenced to seven months in prison and was given a three-year restraining order at Craigavon Magistrates Court on Wednesday after being found guilty of common assault, possession of an offensive weapon, a cross bow, and disorderly behaviour in connection with an attack on a man in the Lurgan area on February 22.

The incident followed a confrontation by an online child sexual abuse activist group on February 18.

Senior investigating Officer with PSNI’s Public protection branch, Detective Inspector Pamela Colville said: “To date there have been no prosecutions regarding any evidence captured by any of these online child sexual abuse activist groups.

“However as this case demonstrates, there have been occasions when criminal behaviour has taken place as a consequence of their activities.

“I and my colleagues in the Public Protection Branch want to bring those who commit offences of child abuse to court and to justice. We are totally committed to doing that, but it is work that must be carried out within the law.

“We continue to ask that online child sexual abuse activist groups do not make arrangements to meet individuals or share that information online.

“Instead, they should bring any information they have to police.”