A pervert travelled to Dundee to meet two children he believed to be 12 and 13 years-old – only to be snared by a vigilante group.
Matthew Sayers, 32, had sent an explicit picture of his genitalia to 12-year old “Rachel Cavendish” and 13-year-old “Lucie Riley” before planning to visit them in Dundee.
Upon arriving at the city’s Seagate Bus Station, he was instead met by vigilante James Doyle, who had posed as one of the young girls, and was restrained until police arrived.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard that Sayers, who has mental health disorders, had contacted the fake profiles in early January, which had been set up by the group Child Protectors Scotland.
The pervert, who appeared from custody, maintained contact even after they had professed their young ages, and sent ever more explicit messages over the course of several days.
Fiscal depute Marie Irvine told the court: “The accused made an agreement to travel to meet ‘Lucie’ and ‘Rachel’ in January 2020.
“On Kik (a digital messaging app) he messaged to say: ‘I’m in bed wishing you were here’ before sending a photo of his erect naked penis. He sent the same photo to ‘Rachel’ and ‘Lucie’.”
At around 2.30pm on January 11 this year, Sayers arrived at the Seagate Bus Station, where he was accosted by Mr Doyle and another vigilante.
Ms Irvine continued: “They positioned themselves so the accused would walk past. They called out ‘Matthew Sayers’ and he tried to run off, but they took hold of him to prevent his escape before calling the police.
“The accused intimated he understood but made no reply when cautioned and charged.”
Sayers, of Hyvot Mill Drive in Edinburgh, admitted attempting to send sexual written communications to Louise Doyle and John Doyle – pretending to be ‘Rachel’ and ‘Lucie’ respectively – for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification or causing humiliation, distress or alarm.
He also admitted meeting or communicating with individuals not believed to have attained the age of 16 and attempting to meet with them with the intent of engaging in unlawful sexual activity.
Solicitor Christopher MacFarlane, in mitigation, said Sayers had “significant mental health problems” which had degraded while being held on remand.
Sheriff Lorna Drummond, presiding, opted to remand the Sayers in custody to commission social work reports and a Tay Project assessment – the latter potentially being put off due to the coronavirus crisis.
Sayers was remanded in custody for reports until April 28, and was made to sign the sex offenders’ register.