An online pervert snared by a vigilante group was today jailed – after being identified to police by his partner because she recognised his genitals in photos he sent to decoys posing as under age girls.
James Dunn thought he was “propositioning” girls aged 12 and 13 online – but was in fact talking to “decoys” from the Child Protectors Scotland paedophile hunter group.
He sent two of their decoys – one pretending to be a 12-year-old girl, the other pretending to be 13 – pictures of his penis during sordid online chats.
The group later confronted him on his doorstep in Glenrothes, Fife, in a sting that was broadcast over Facebook and viewed by thousands of people.
The commotion was overheard by Dunn’s then partner – who demanded to see the chat logs and pictures Dunn had sent before inviting the group into their house.
She later told police that the man in the images was her now ex-partner – and that she was able to identify his clothing, watch and genitalia in the pictures.
Fiscal depute Sarah Lumsden told the court Dunn was being investigated by two separate branches of the paedophile hunter group in England and Scotland.
She said Dunn later blamed his post-traumatic stress disorder from his previous military service for his offending.
Miss Lumsden added: “He admitted to police officers that he had sent messages and that it had been going on for about one week and that was due to his PTSD.
“When cautioned and charged, he replied: ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry for the whole lot. I apologise for being so stupid.'”
Dunn, 41, of Den Walk, Methil, Fife, pleaded guilty on indictment to two charges of attempting to send sexual written communications to underage girls, one between January 9 and January 13 this year, the other on January 11.
Defence solicitor Megan Davidson said: “He is extremely ashamed and disgusted by his behaviour.
“He doesn’t try to minimise it and fully accepts responsibility.
“It is very clear he regrets having acted in this way and struggles to understand why he has acted in a way that is completely out of the ordinary for him.
“He does have a criminal record but the majority of that is for road traffic offending.”
Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist QC jailed Dunn for 18 months and placed him on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
He said: “In assessing the gravity of this I proceed on the basis of looking at it as if the decoys were actually who you believed them to be.
“That being the case, I proceed on the basis that you believed you were attempting to proposition 12 and 13-year-old children for sexual purposes and that is extremely serious.”