THIS was the moment when a Darlington pervert realised he had been caught by a group of 'paedophile hunters'.

Luke Porter had turned up at the town's railway station in expectation of meeting 14-year-old 'Megan' after arranging to have sex with her.

However, what the 18-year-old didn't realise was that he had been sharing sexually explicit messages with a member of an online group targeting suspected sex offenders.

Porter was detained by the group until the police arrived following the sting in January this year.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the defendant had turned 18 just weeks before his arrest.

The Northern Echo: Darlington Railway Station Picture: NORTHERN ECHODarlington Railway Station Picture: NORTHERN ECHO

Judge Timothy Stead sentenced Porter to nine months in a young offenders’ institute, suspended for two years as there was no actual contact with a child.

He said: “Nevertheless, what you did was an offence because you believed you were communicating with a 14-year-old girl – a girl who was previously a stranger to you.

“In fact, you were communicating with an adult whose purpose was to bring about justice in a case such as yours, you were willing to engage in sexual offending with children, and I make no complaint about that."

Porter, of Beaumont Street West, Darlington, pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to communicate with a child to engage in sexual activity.

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