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Man snared by paedophile hunters while trying to meet child at Yarmouth Library appears in court

PUBLISHED: 12:22 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:50 19 March 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Psychological tests have been ordered into a paedophile who was caught by a group of vigilantes while trying to meet a child at Great Yarmouth library.

Kevin Ward, 51, of no fixed abode, was caught in a sting set up by a “paedophile hunter” group that posed as children on internet chat rooms in order to catch out offenders, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Ward, who was wearing a grey tracksuit, admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

His barrister, Ian James, said that Ward was arrested in November after he tried to engage children he had been chatting to on the internet into sexual activity but was instead caught by a group of vigilantes, when he attended a planned meeting at the library.

“It is what is known as a paedophile hunter case,” he said.

He said there were several unusual aspects to the case and said that it was vital Ward had a specialist psychologist report done before further progress could be made.

He said that Ward also disputed some of the assertions made in the case by the prosecution, which would also need to be decided before sentencing.

Mr James added: “The absence of a report is not anything to do with Ward. He has co-operated throughout and tht remains so.”

Charles Falk, prosecuting, agreed that a report would be necessary and said: “I can see the force of a report.”

Judge Andrew Shaw adjourned the case until May 4 for a psychologist’s report but said that already a report by probation had highlighted clear concerns about Ward and said: “There are lingering concerns about his mental health.”

He added that the probation report had also raised serious concerns about the future risk Ward posed to children as he had been trying to meet up with children, who he thought were 14 or younger.

Judge Shaw added: “For all those reasons it would seem to be prudent for the court to know as much about him as possible.”

He remanded Ward back into custody.

The court heard that Ward initially had pleaded guilty to four offences at a previous hearing but admitted a further two charges, in February, this year, following analysis of his mobile device.

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