Moment OAP, 83, caught trying to meet girl, 14, admits being ‘bloody foolish’

This is the moment paedophile hunters confronted a grandad about to catch a train to meet what he thought was a teenage girl.

The 83-year-old man from Redcar, North Yorks, believed he was on his way to meet a 14-year-old girl – but was instead met with a camera.

Online paedophile hunters halted William Lance who told them as they filmed him: “I was bloody foolish”.

Footage of him travelling to York train station was captured at the time of his arrest by a group called North West Hebephile Hunters.

Asked what he thinks should happen to offenders who engage in sexual conversations with young girls, Lance says in the footage: “I think they should go to jail, I think it’s right and I think I should go.”

“I’ve been silly, I’ve been stupid.

“I did the wrong thing, so I get punished.”

Ex British Steel worker Lance was brought before a Judge at Teesside Crown Court last week, who jailed him for 12 months.

The court heard how the dad-of-seven had started messaging what he believed to be a teenage girl who was 68 years his junior at the time of the offending in September 2019.

The account was actually fake.

The conversation quickly turned sexual with Lance sending an intimate image of himself, encouraging the girl to perform a sex act on herself and arranging to meet her in York.

But he was in for a rude awakening when he was actually met by paedophile hunters, followed by the police.

In the video the pervert says: “I’ve been talking to a girl on the internet, supposedly.

“Just generalisation and then after a while it got round to talking about sex.”

Asked how old the girl is, Lance replied: “I think she said she was 14, I’m not sure.”

Questioned why he was talking about sex with a young girl Lance said: “It just went into the natural rhythm of things.”

The paedophile hunters go on to reveal details about the nature of the chats, including how Lance sent an explicit photo of himself to the girl.

“Do you think a child should see that?”, asks one of the men.

“No I don’t”, Lance replies. “I was sorry after I did it.

“I understand where you’re coming from and I was bloody foolish.”

Lance, of Redcar, had no previous convictions, but his reputation now lies in tatters.

A further investigation by the police also found two indecent images of young girls on his phone.

He pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a girl to engage in sexual activity, attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming, attempting to have a sexual communication with a child, and two counts of making an indecent photo of a child.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said the offending was so severe that only a prison term would be an appropriate sentence.

He jailed Lance for 12 months and made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

North West Hebephile Hunters posted on social media after the sentencing: “As you can see, the charges weren’t just in relation to the decoy activity so any suggestion we have ‘set up a lonely old man’ is utterly ludicrous.

“Custodial sentences are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain but we are happy that the courts have seen this individual for what he is and demonstrated that old age and frailty are not a valid reason for leniency.”