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Sick predator who used Grindr to target 14-year-old boys jailed after police sting

Lily Wakefield May 8, 2020
Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson, 45. (Devon & Cornwall Police)

A dangerous predator who used Grindr to target 14-year-old boys has been jailed after he was trapped in a police sting operation.

Robert Johnson, 45, of Guys Road, Exeter, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison at Exeter Crown Court on April 30 for attempting to meet a child following grooming.

Johnson was caught after he arranged to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old boy called Harry, but in fact turned out to be an undercover police officer, according to DevonLive.

The messages previously exchanged between the two made it clear that ‘Harry’ was just 14, but Johnson continued to groom him, promising to teach him about sex.

Grindr predator found to have sent pictures to real 14-year-old.

In explicit messages on Grindr and Kik, Johnson sent pictures of himself in his underwear, and discussed oral sex and tying the boy up.

The predator arranged a meeting outside a Pizza Hut in Exeter at 9am on January 17, but was arrested by the undercover police officer when he arrived.

Upon his arrest, police found that he had come to the meeting equipped with condoms, lubricant, handcuffs and a spanking paddle.

Other messages on Johnson’s phone showed that he had been in touch with a real 14-year-old boy who he had convinced to send him a picture of his genitals.

Although his defence tried to argue in court that Johnson had been through trauma, and that a sex offenders’ treatment programme would be more effective in the community than in prison, Judge Timothy Rose jailed him for two years and eight months.

Judge bans pervert from having any contact with children.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for life, and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which bans him from any future contact with children.

The judge told him: “You drove to a meeting equipped to have penetrative sexual activity with a person you thought to be a 14-year-old boy and that can only be met by immediate imprisonment.”

More: child grooming, Exeter, Grindr, police, predator, sting

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