Rawmarsh sex offender who went to meet “14-year-old girl” snared by paedophile hunters

By David Parker | 03/05/2019

Rawmarsh sex offender who went to meet “14-year-old girl” snared by paedophile hunters
Nathan Armitage

A CONVICTED child sex offender was confronted by paedophile hunters after arranging to meet a fake 14-year-old girl — and police discovered he had groomed a real girl when he was handed over to them.

Nathan Armitage (29) arranged to meet the fake schoolgirl for sex near to a police station — but was instead handed over to coppers during the sting.

Armitage, who was given a community order in 2015 for child sex offences, was jailed for two years on Tuesday (30) at Sheffield Crown Court for nine sex offences.

Armitage, of Osberton Street, Rawmarsh, sent sexual messages to four people posing as girls aged between 12 and 14 in November, 2017, and demanded sexual images from them. He also tried to meet two of them for sex.

Armitage sent messages to four decoys which were set up by paedophile hunting group One Reason, Mr Robert Stevenson, prosecuting, told the court.

He requested sexual activity with all of them and asked each of them for indecent images.

Armitage lied about his age, telling one of the girls that he was 14 and that he loved her, Mr Stevenson said.

The “girl” had made it clear to him that she was only 14.

He arranged to meet her by Wombwell Police Station where he was instead detained by the group.

When he was arrested by police, Armitage refused to answer almost all questions apart from some about his mobile phone and social media usage.

Police also uncovered evidence that he had sent messages of a sexual nature to a real 15-year-old girl in November, 2015.

“[The victim] made it clear at all times that she was 15 years-of-age,” Mr Stevenson said.

Armitage asked the girl for sexual images, including photographs of her breasts.

The girl sent pictures to Armitage and later told police that she had felt forced to send them, Mr Stevenson said.

Armitage admitted causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, four counts of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity and four counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

In November, 2015, he was given a three-year community order for two offences of causing or inciting a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.

Mitigating, Mr Andrew Smith, said: “This is serious offending, and the only thing that can be said in his favour it that he’s faced up to what he’s done.

“This defendant has been given a shot across his bowels already by the court and, notwithstanding, he has continued to offend.

“Many would say that Nathan Armitage does not deserve another chance.”

Judge Graham Reeds, QC, said: “It’s not possible to deal with you in a non-custodial way, even though you have been in custody for a while.

“This cannot be suspended because of the extent of the offending and the fact you were unable to respond to the rehabilitation programme offered last time.

“An appropriate punishment for what you have done can only be achieved by immediate custody.”

Speaking after the hearing, PC Brett Thompson, the investigating officer, said: “The victim in this case has demonstrated incredible bravery to engage with the police investigation and criminal justice process. Understandably, she finds it difficult to talk about what happened and the impact on her life, and I commend her for her courage and her strength.”


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