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Brockworth man trapped by pedophile hunters given suspended sentence

A 56-year-old Brockworth man who was caught in a trap set by pedophile hunters has been given a 16-month suspended prison sentence. Nigel Brunsdon of Wildlife Walk, Brockworth, made contact on Facebook with two fictional girls – Melanie Coombes, 13, and Emma Watkinson, 12, who were both setting up an online child protection group , Gloucester Crown Court heard yesterday (28 March).

Prosecutor Joe Broadway said Brunsdon bombarded the two “girls” with hundreds of messages asking for sexually explicit photos of themselves. He was later reported to the police by Daniel Fitzgerald, a member of the pedophile hunting group.

Brunsdon pleaded guilty to attempting to have sexual communication with ‘Melanie Coombes’, a child under the age of 16 between June 27 and July 24, 2020, in Gloucester for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification in which the communication was sexual and to send two explicit images to the recipient.

He also admitted to trying to induce two girls, “Emma Watkinson” and “Melanie Coombes”, between the ages of 12 and 15, to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity between June 27 and July 24, 2020, and to take a picture. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for 21 months.

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Judge Michael Cullum told Brunsdon: “You pleaded guilty to three offenses reflecting two periods in which you contacted what you believed to be two young girls aged 13 and 12 in a sexual manner. You then bombarded them with sexual messages. However, you did not know that these accounts were fake and were created by someone who wanted to trick people trying to have sexual contact with children.

“The fact that there was no real child will be reflected in your grief to some degree. I have taken into account your background and the fact that you led an isolated life. It was not necessarily grooming behavior in the normal sense, but it was consistent that you were sending hundreds of messages in. You made contact for a relatively short period of time.

In addition to the suspended jail sentence, the judge ordered Brunsdon to pay court costs of £425 and attend a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement and be subject to a treatment requirement six months of alcoholism. Brunsdon was also on the sex offender registry for 10 years and subject to a sexual abuse prevention order restricting his internet use for the same period.

The prosecutor had told the court that on June 28, 2020, Brunsdon made contact on Facebook with 13-year-old ‘Melanie Coombes’ and a few days later he contacted Emma Watkinson, whose fictitious profile indicated that she was 12 years old. .

“Brunsdon first struck up a conversation with ‘Melanie’ with general chatter. The profile operator said she was 13 on more than one occasion over the coming week and revealed that she was also deaf. On July 11, Brunsdon felt confident enough to ask the girl for pictures of herself and continued to send her pictures of her picture of her breasts. The girl refused respond to Brunsdon’s requests over the next few days.

The court was told that Mr Fitzgerald then told police about Brunsdon’s conversations with the two ‘girls’. He said Brunsdon sent more than 400 messages in the 19 days he was in contact with Brunsdon. The court was told that in some of these messages, Brunsdon was also trying to get in touch with friends of the girls who were the same age.

Nicholas Clough, defending, said a pre-sentence report on Brunsdon painted a portrait of an isolated, lonely, middle-aged man with no friends and little social contact with others outside the home. He added: “His offense is described as grooming because he entered into a relationship with the two decoy girls, which lasted only three weeks in total.

“Mr. Fitzgerald states that Brunsdon’s contact was sporadic and that the active period of contact lasted only seven days… Brunsdon then approaches the second girl and finally gets a similar brushstroke. He doesn’t There is no real victim in these cases as they were decoy stories Brunsdon has since shown significant remorse and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity in magistrates court in December.