Financial advisor caught in paedophile hunter sting after sex messages to girl, 15, faces jail

Tristan Kirk
Facing jail: Jonathan Hunt was caught by so-called paedophile hunters: Metropolitan Police

A wealthy financial advisor is facing jail after he was caught in a sting by a paedophile hunter when he arranged to meet what he thought was a 15-year-old girl in south-east London.

Jonathan Hunt, 51, targeted a teenager called Holly through social media site Badoo, sending sexually explicit messages and pleading for pictures of her in her school uniform.

Hunt, who had a respectable facade as a married financial advisor to clients around the world, set up a "date" with the girl and promised to "be gentle" when they had sex.

But he was instead confronted by Sarah Doherty, the 36-year-old founder of vigilante group Internet Interceptors, who had been posing as Holly to snare paedophiles.

Confronted: Jonathan Hunt was met by so-called paedophile hunters at Plumstead station (Internet Interceptors)

At the Old Bailey on Friday, a jury found Hunt guilty of arranging to meet a girl under 16 following grooming, despite his claims that he only wanted to take Holly shopping.

Hunt was caught on camera by Ms Doherty when he arrived at Plumstead train station on September 14 last year expecting to meet Holly.

Confronted and told police were on the way, Hunt admitted arranging the meeting but insisted that he did not have sex in mind.

He brushed off explicit messages he had sent, claiming he was drunk and did not mean it, and said his suggestion that Holly should strip for him into a shop changing room was "light-hearted".

Hunt suggested he was "a million miles away" from having sex with the girl, although he admitted he was "inappropriate and wrong" to have flirted with her online.

Prosecutor Mr Malone told the court Hunt had "an ongoing interest in Holly, a desire to meet her, spend time with her, develop a relationship with her and a willingness to go to her house alone with her.

"At no stage does the defendant suggest despite knowing her age that he would wait until she was 16-years-old, nor indeed does he ever seek to establish when that is that she will turn 16," he said.

He also voiced concerns that she may be part of a sting operation, but still went through with the meeting after telling her that sex would be "cool, very cool".

Hunt, of Shepherds Way, Rickmansworth, denied arranging to meet a female aged under 16 following grooming.

He is due to be sentenced on March 27.