Pervert who groomed 14-year-old ‘boy’ and told him they were ‘going to bed’ arrested at train station

A pervert who met a young boy on an online dating site sent him sexually explicit messages.

David Hall sent photos showing the planned sexual activity, and when the “boy” asked where they would go when they met, Hall replied, “To bed.”

The 60-year-old had registered an account on dating site Badoo and did not realize he was speaking to an undercover police officer. When Hall suggested moving the conversation to Snapchat on Jan. 19, the officer agreed and the “14-year-old boy” named Jay agreed to meet with Hall.

Hall was arrested by plainclothes officers on March 9 as he waited for the boy at Hartlepool train station. He later pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child after grooming; and attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Mitigating, Martin Scarborough told Teesside Crown Court that his client has never been in trouble with the police before and that he is “genuinely remorseful”. Judge Andrew Smith told Hall, who stood in the dock in a suit: “I don’t know what would have happened if you had met the 14-year-old boy. We don’t know because this guy doesn’t exist. .

“It was a police officer trying to find people online who pose a risk to children. You had indicated that you intended to have sex with the child.”

Hall, of Tynebrooke Avenues in Hartlepool, was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the next ten years, meaning he must disclose to police every online device in his possession; and his internet use will be limited.

Hall is banned from having any contact with a child except with the consent of the child’s parents – who must be aware of his conviction. He was given an electronic tag and a curfew from 7pm to 6am for the next four months, and must sign the sex offenders register; in addition to attending 30 rehabilitation days.