A Fife man who was snared by an online paedophile hunting group jumped out of a first floor window in a bid to evade capture, a court has heard.
John Gordon, 51, of Spittalfield Road, Inverkeithing, was doorstepped by members of the Forbidden Scotland predator hunting team after striking up sexually explicit conversations with who he believed were 13-year-old girls.
The ‘girls’ were in fact adults posing as decoys, and the vigilante group arrived at Gordon’s property to confront him in an operation which was streamed live on social media.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday that Gordon closed the door on them and, after police were called, he jumped from a window in a bid to get away, although he handed himself into police the next morning.
Appearing before Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist QC, Gordon admitted three charges on indictment relating to repeatedly sending messages of a sexual nature to three different victims – all of whom were adult decoys posing as 13-year-olds – between December 17, 2019, and February 23, 2020; February 3, 2020 and February 5, 2020; and February 5, 2020, and February 6, 2020.
Procurator fiscal depute Claire Bremner told the court an adult female member of the Forbidden Scotland group, posing as a 13-year-old girl, received a friend request from Gordon, whose profile picture featured five females wearing T-shirts and underwear with the words ‘We Love The Glasgow Rangers’ on it.
Gordon struck up conversation with the ‘girl’ by saying ‘hey, new face’, and she replied with a story about how she had “managed to drink half the swimming pool” during swimming lessons and told Gordon she was 13.
Exchanges between the pair over the next few days became more sexual in nature and Ms Bremner revealed that the decoy repeatedly made reference to school and classes so Gordon was well aware of the age of who he thought he was dealing with.
Gordon then used words like “honey”, “babe” and “gorgeous” to refer to the girl, sent content of a sexual nature to her, and asked her for pictures of her without her clothes on.
Ms Bremner added that Gordon then sent two pictures of a sexual nature to the girl unprompted, accompanied by a message saying “you want me”.
Two members of the Forbidden Scotland team subsequently arrived at Gordon’s home to confront him and he hastily made an escape.
Police were called and obtained a search warrant that night for Gordon’s home where they found six mobile phones and a mobile phone box.
Analysis of the devices showed further sexual communication with two other ‘girls’ – who were in actual fact an adult man and woman – in which he repeatedly asked them to send him nude pictures.
Sheriff Gilchrist QC called for the preparation of criminal justice social work reports before sentencing, and deferred sentence on Gordon until March 15.
Gordon, meanwhile, was made subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act in the interim.