Vigilante paedophile hunter snared rapist by posing as teenage girl called Little Laura

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A man has been jailed after he was trapped by a vigilante paedophile hunter posing on the internet as a 14-year-old girl called Little Laura

Leeds Crown Court heard convicted rapist Carl Wood tried to entice the schoolgirl to his home in Agbrigg Road, after contacting her via the social network site Badoo.

Nicholas Askins prosecuting said Wood was at that time unaware the profile “Little Laura” had been set up by a man trying to expose paedophiles.

On May 21, 2013 Wood made contact with her saying he was Carl from Wakefield. During their first conversation she told him she was 14 and reminded him of her age on later occasions.

Mr Askins said in that very first conversation he talked about having sex with her. In the chats that followed over the next couple of months he asked for a picture of her in her school uniform and for information about the size of her breasts.

He asked if she was a virgin and tried to get her to go to her GP for contraception so she would not get pregnant by him.

Mr Askins said: “He expressed concern the police might be monitoring their conversations and gave her his mobile phone number telling her to store it under a girl’s name in her phone so they could communicate by text.”

He suggested she come to his home for sex and asked if she had sex toys. “Little Laura” suggested meeting at a park in Halifax previously used by the paedophile hunter to meet up with and expose other men, but Wood would not do so and continued to encourage her to come to his home instead.

He was arrested in December 2013. The court heard in April 2000 he was convicted of raping a woman at a party.

Robin Frieze representing Wood accepted the contents of their chats included “repulsive” suggestions.

But he said Wood had shown considerable insight into his behaviour and there was no actual victim involved. “There has been no history of child sexual activity in the past and the pre-sentence report suggests he has the capacity to work within the sex offender treatment programme in the community.”

Wood, 54, admitted attempting to incite a child to sexual activity and was jailed for 22 months and ordered to register indefinitely as a sex offender.

Judge Sally Cahill QC told him only immediate custody was appropriate.