Ireland Vigilante group has scuppered Garda’s child grooming case

16:36  11 february  2018
16:36  11 february  2018 Source:   extra.ie

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A garda investigation into a ‘cut and dry’ case of child grooming has been compromised after a vigilante group shared allegations and images of the suspect on social media, the Extra.ie has learned.

ireland 2018-02-11 vigilante group child pornography case possession bastard hope mother. Top comment "well done hunni xxx". These sanctimonious fools have no lives and are just looking for drama and a cause to alleviate the boredom of their lives.

Sexual Assault © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Sexual Assault A garda investigation into a ‘cut and dry’ case of child grooming has been compromised after a vigilante group shared allegations and images of the suspect on social media, the Extra.ie has learned.

The allegations were shared hundreds of thousands of times by vigilante groups here and in the UK, and among community groups and concerned parents who are unaware of the damage that can be done to criminal investigations.

In another twist in the case, a member of the vigilante group directly communicated with the suspect online, an action that may result in a prosecution of the vigilante involved.

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Child grooming is befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child , and sometimes the family, to lower the child ' s inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse.

Operation Shelter has clear similarities to grooming scandals in Rotherham and Rochdale, which featured gangs of British Asian men abusing white girls. Like other prominent child sex grooming cases , Shelter involves the “boyfriend model” of sexual exploitation, where a vulnerable person is

Gardaí have repeatedly asked Facebook to take down the content, which it did, but every time it is taken down it is shared again.

The case involves a tradesman who allegedly tried to groom the 10-year-old daughter of a client online after he had finished work at her parents’ home.

Screenshots of the Facebook messages sent between the two show the man, aged 30, asking the child to get into bed with him.

The disturbing messages only came to light after the girl’s mother checked her daughter’s messages.

She angrily shared screenshots of the conversations, alongside images of the suspect. These have since been shared over and over again by vigilante groups.

  Vigilante group has scuppered Garda’s child grooming case © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

The allegations were shared hundreds of thousands of times by vigilante groups here and in the UK

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A garda investigation into an alleged case of child grooming has reportedly been jeopardised after a vigilante group shared allegations and images of the suspect on Facebook.

Investigating gardaí arrested the man in recent weeks, but detectives fear that due to the continuity of evidence being compromised, the Director of Public Prosecutions may not direct a charge.

Or, even if the suspect is charged, that his defence solicitor will argue his right to a fair trial has been be damaged because of the number of times the allegations have been shared online.

It is understood the man has since wiped his computer and phones of any incriminating evidence after being alerted by the vigilantes.

He is understood to have left his home after being confronted by the vigilante group and is now believed to be hiding out in the UK.

A source said: ‘This was a cut and dry case. The problem with these vigilante groups is they do not understand the law.

They may feel they are doing good in the world, but in reality their interference in this case could result in the suspect getting away scot free.’ In a further development, a member of the vigilante group, who claims to be have been acting as a decoy, communicated with the suspect online and they had conversations about kidnapping a child.

In the eyes of the law, the person from the vigilante group is as culpable in the case and could be charged with possession of child pornography.

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