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Paedophile jailed after Peppa Pig World sting

Andrew Sealey Image copyright PA/Hampshire Police
Image caption Andrew Sealey used the internet forum as a cover to groom children, the court heard

A paedophile has been jailed after being caught in a sting operation at the Peppa Pig World theme park.

Andrew Sealey, 39, ran an online theme parks forum which he used to lure children to attractions, Southampton Crown Court heard.

He was arrested following a sting by a "vigilante paedophile hunter" who posed as a 15-year-old girl arranging to meet for sex in a toilet at the Hampshire park.

Sealey was jailed for 40 months.

He pleaded guilty to eight charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and one of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.

'Thin line'

Sealey's behaviour came to light after he talked to another forum member about performing sex acts.

Gary Rogers Brennan became concerned and set up fake profiles of three teenagers.

In messages to them, the defendant sent them pictures of his penis and said to one: "It's OK you being a virgin and 15, I don't mind."

Mr Rogers Brennan got in touch with self-styled paedophile hunter, Shane Brannigan, who confronted Sealey at the entrance to the park in May.

Judge Peter Henry said he had concerns about such sting operations.

'Fraught with dangers'

"On the one hand I can fully understand the obvious concerns of the public and people who may therefore have been abused," he said.

"On the other hand, to rely upon this activity of self-styled paedo hunters as a base for criminal prosecutions is fraught with dangers.

"In particular, there is a thin line between someone being entrapped or evidence not being admissible for some reason and a legitimate inquiry."

Rob Griffiths, defending, said the defendant was "highly over-sexed" but there was "never any risk" to children at the park.

In addition to the prison term, Sealey, of Manor Road, Milborne Port, Somerset was given a sexual harm prevention order and had his mobile phone and laptop destroyed.

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