pedophile who was snared by a child abuse vigilante
A pedophile who was snared by a child abuse vigilante hunter has avoided jail after taking an overdose.
Thomas Birks, 25, contacted a fake female profile who he thought was 13 years old and tried to persuade her to perform sex acts on herself.
The profile, known as Lauren, was contacted by Birks who was unaware it was a trap laid by a pedophile hunter.
The pedophile hunter posted pictures of Birks online, who then took an overdose. He was arrested the day after he was released from the hospital.
Birks was then handed a two-year community order when the judge passed a sentence aimed at preventing him from re-offending and assisting his rehabilitation.
The court heard that the fake profile of the 13-year-old girl was et up and posted online.
Birks contacted the profile on 12 February before engaging in a 26-minute conversation.
The daily mail reports: Mr Spratt said: ‘The defendant engaged in sexual communication almost immediately. He was told on a number of occasions she was only 13.
‘He was persistent. He encouraged the individual to commit sexual acts on herself for his gratification.’
The court heard Birks took an overdose after his picture was posted on the internet.
He was arrested a day after being released from the hospital.
Birks, of London Road in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite or cause a child to engage in sexual activity.
Heather Drew, mitigating, said the defendant is a vulnerable individual.
Ms Drew said: ‘The defendant has done all he possibly can to co-operate with the agencies. He has an appointment with alcohol services on May 2.’
As part of the community order Birks must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 25 days.