A Crowborough man was convicted last week for attempting to meet a 12-year old “child” in Brighton for sex.
Last August, Danny Watson from Crowborough was arrested after grooming a “girl” online and persuading her to creep-out of the house while her mum was asleep. In reality Watson was chatting to members of “The Hunted One”, a group set-up to flush-out sexual predators and hand-over evidence of their behaviour to the authorities.
The Hunted One filmed Watson when they confronted him in his car and whilst they waited for the police to arrive. Watson had taken along drugs for the girl to take. As the video on their website shows, Watson claimed he was there to warn her of the dangers, however the organisation had logs of similar conversations he had.
Watson, 37, a builder, of Alderbrook Close, was already serving a suspended sentence, having been convicted in October the previous year for possession of indecent images of children at his home. He had been sentenced to three months imprisonment suspended for 12 months, and was also a registered sex offender for seven years.
On Friday (24th February) at the Hove Trial Centre, Watson was found guilty of the latest offences: inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, possession of cocaine and cannabis, as well as intent to supply a Class B drug.
He is now on the sex offender register for life. He was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, severely restricting his access to children and computers until a further court order. He was also banned for life from any work with children and young people.
A spokesperson for The Hunted One said:
We are very satisfied with the sentencing of Danny Watson. Danny’s previous conviction was clearly no deterrant to him, as he was actively seeking children online. It is fortunate that he crossed our path and not a real child and we acted swiftly.When we started this journey, one element of our vision was to push for harsher sentences in the courts with the amount of substantial evidence that we collate against the individual, we want this to act as a deterrant to online groomers. Yesterday was a starting point for us and we hope that other judges follow suit.We will continue in our journey to highlight the dangers online, reinforce guidance and advice to parents to keep their children safe and we will continue to be the voice of the children.It’s us (the parents) versus the groomers.