May 2018

Man caught out by ‘paedophile hunters’ jailed for sex offences at Sheffield Crown Court

‘They seem to police the unpoliceable internet,’ a judge has said of self-described paedophile hunters after they entrapped a man living in Sheffield who sent explicit videos of himself to an account he believed belonged to a 13-year-old girl.

During a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on May 25, Judge Roger Thomas QC jailed Dioni Haki, 32, for 18-months for a string of sex offences including attempting a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity and attempting to cause a child under the age of 16 to watch a sex act.

The court was told how Haki’s spate of sexual offending began after he contacted an online account he believed belonged to an 13-year-old girl called Courtney Baker in February of this year. But the account had actually been set up by online team ‘Hunters 25/8’.

“The defendant made contact with Courtney, and there were lots of conversations about sex,’ said Camille Morland, prosecuting.

Between February 4 and March 7 this year, Haki, of Holgate Road, Parson Cross sent three videos of himself performing a solo sex act to the decoy account.

The court was told how he also attempted to get the ‘girl’ to engage in sexual activity and to send her explicit pictures of herself. Haki, who arrived in the country as an illegal immigrant from Albania three years ago, pleaded guilty to the four sex offences at an earlier hearing.

 In addition to his custodial sentence, Judge Thomas also placed Haki on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, and told him he would be deported on his release from prison.

He said: “I know of these organisations that seem to have cropped up, not public bodies, who seem, in some ways to police the unpoliceable internet. “One of those organisations set up a profile of a 13-year-old, and you contacted it. You had sexual communication with someone, or at least someone you believed to be, under 13.”