Honiton man caught out in paedophile hunters' sting

PUBLISHED: 11:45 12 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:08 20 August 2019

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Archant

A man from Honiton has admitted sending sexual requests to what he thought was a nine-year-old girl, after being trapped by paedophile hunters.

Mark Wood, aged 43, also communicated with a string of 'children' online without realising they were decoy profiles set up by vigilante groups.

On Monday, August 12, Wood, of no fixed abode, admitted attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity and five counts of attempted sexual communication with a child.

Judge Peter Johnson adjourned his case at Exeter Crown Court until Friday to allow time for the probation service to find him somewhere to live if he does not receive an immediate jail sentence. The judge remanded him in custody by warned him he may still go to jail.

He said: "This was a persistent form of offending."

Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said the most serious offence was the attempted incitement, which has a starting point in the sentencing guidelines of six months jail and a range of up to three years.

Bathsheba Cassel, defending, said Wood has nowhere to live if he is released on a community order or suspended sentence but may be offered a place at the Gabriel House hostel in Smythen Street, Exeter.

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