November 2018

Paedophile hunters Dark Justice snared pervert, 51

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A pervert who thought he was meeting a 15-year-old girl was snared by so-called paedophile hunters after residents of a housing estate helped chase him down.  

Mark Turnbull, 51, had been engaging in explicit chat with who he thought was a schoolgirl on the social media app Scout but was actually talking to vigilante group who call themselves Dark Justice.

Members of the group confronted him when he turned up meet the ‘girl’ at St Anthony’s Park in Walker, Newcastle. 

He sped away in his car to the nearby Daisy Hill housing estate where he left his vehicle but with the help of locals he was captured

A Dark Justice spokesperson said: ‘We followed him at a safe distance until he abandoned his car and we continued on foot.

‘We told locals what we were doing and they helped us find him. He had been hiding in an alleyway.

‘There were about 20 people helping. He’d also hidden a mobile phone and one of the residents found that for us under a bin close to the alley.

‘Without that we wouldn’t have been able to secure a conviction. We can’t thank them enough. We phoned the police and he was arrested.’ 

On the video Turnbull is seen hiding his face beneath a coat while he cowers in the back alley. A Dark Justice member tells him: ‘You knew exactly how old the girl was. 

‘You are lucky you did not destroy some girl’s life. You would have if you had got your hands on the girl.’ 

At Newcastle Crown Court this week Turnbull, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming. 

He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, made the subject of a rehabilitation activity requirement for two years and slapped with a £140 victim surcharge. 

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten tears and attend a sexual offenders programme for a minimum of 54 days.