Paedophile snared by vigilante is jailed for trying to meet girl, 14, with sex toys

Charles Walford

A man who was caught by paedophile hunters after arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl with a tent and sex toys has been jailed for three years.

But the sentencing came amid police plans to crackdown on ‘social media vigilantes’.

Ex-Army and RAF serviceman Samir Rignall was confronted by David Poole and a cameraman at Hereford station after he had told a ‘14-year-old girl’ that he wanted to take her to woodland. He had also sent her pictures of sex toys and boasted about having had sex with other girls her age.

But those messages were sent by Mr Poole, who confronted him on March 4.

Rignall was arrested by police who had been called by the vigilante.

The paedophile thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl for sex (credit: SWNS)

He pleaded guilty attempting to meet a girl under 16 year of age following grooming at Worcester Crown Court earlier this month.

He also admitted attempting to incite a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity as well as breaching of a sexual harm prevention order and failing to comply with notification requirements of sex offenders register.

His sentencing comes after police issued a warning to vigilantes following violence at  Bluewater shopping centre in Kent on Easter Sunday during a sting set up by a group known as The Hunted One.

A pair of paedophile hunters were arrested and charged with public order offences.

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It prompted a warning from police chiefs that self-styled paedophile hunters can jeopardise police investigations.

Chief constable Simon Bailey, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, told the Guardian vigilantes who unmask suspected paedophiles could give them “the opportunity to destroy evidence before the police can investigate them”.

But Mr Poole, who launched paedophile-hunting group ‘H Division’ after his son was targeted by online perverts, was unrepentant.

‘I think exposing them does more than a prison sentence,’ the father of three said. ‘I would rather expose them so people where they work and live and walk their dog can see what they are.

Rignall was caught by Mr Poole at Hereford station (credit: SWNS)

‘The police have advised us not to do it because it can ruin an investigation they have spent a lot of money on.

‘I think the police need people like me, otherwise these cases would go under the radar because the police are so stretched.’

Of his dealings with Rignall he added: ‘I told him my age and said I was 14 but he said it was not a problem.
‘He kept talking to me for three to four weeks, it was almost 24-7. He tried to force a meeting quite quickly but I wasn’t ready with my cameraman so I delayed him for a week.

‘He said he would bring a tent, rope and a bag of sex toys. He wanted to camp out in the woodlands.

As for the attempt to snare him, Mr Poole explained: ‘He was looking around quite a lot and looked quite shifty. He had a bag with a blanket in and a bag with a tent and a rucksack full of sex toys.
‘I approached him outside the station, he said it wasn’t him and I showed him his profile picture from the dating site. All he said was, “For f**ks sake” and he walked off.

‘He kept walking around the station, probably looking for a train to jump on, and I rang the police and we followed him.’

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