An Irishman has been jailed after flying to the UK with intent to kidnap a 13-year-old girl and have sex with her.
Eclan Power, 58, of Commons Road, Dromiskin, Co Louth, was captured by a pedophile hunter who created a fake Facebook profile of a school girl named Charlotte who was contacted by Power.
He sent sexual messages and arranged to meet the girl at her alleged home in North Devon, where he planned to have sex with her at home while her mother was at work.
Power flew from Dublin to Bristol and took trains to Barnstaple but was picked up by the pedophile hunters instead of the girl and arrested shortly thereafter.
He carried condoms in his luggage and return tickets for himself and the girl to return to Ireland two days later.
Chat logs showed that he had told her she had to dress up by dying her hair blonde and said she had to stay at his house to avoid being spotted. He even built a high fence around it to keep the neighbors from getting suspicious.
He was a health worker in Dundalk who had been single since his last relationship ended 13 years ago and was reportedly in isolation, falling for the stab operation during “a month of madness”.
Power admitted attempting sexual contact with a child and attempting to meet a child after foster care and was sentenced to two years and four months in prison by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court on Monday.
He told him: “The alleged girl’s date of birth was clear on the website. In fact, it was not a 13-year-old girl, but a man who acted as a decoy while investigating pedophiles like you.
“Their plan was to sleep with Charlotte and have penetrative sex with her and return to Ireland with her where they wanted to settle down together.
“They say you lacked guile, but it was clear you intended to kidnap her back to Ireland. I consider the duration of the intention and the planning involved. This case is so serious that there must be an immediate prison sentence.”
Greg Richardson, prosecutor, said the fake profile was posted on Facebook by a group calling itself Secrets and Lies Confronted. It used a digitally manipulated image of an adult and lay dormant until a message was sent by Power on June 13.
The girl’s age was clear from the start, but Power continued to send messages outlining his abduction plan and arranging a meeting with the girl at Barnstaple Station on July 14 at 8:30 p.m.
He initially used the pseudonym Simon Templar, the fictional character known as The Saint, but reverted to his own name when he traveled to the UK.
Adrian Chaplin, defending himself, said Power is a hard working man with a healthcare job who has never been in trouble before. He said he dated the girl at a time when he was very isolated.
He said: “Before that month of madness, he was of good character. He has not had a significant personal relationship for 13 years. He’s totally ashamed. It seems like he was acting out a fantasy about some kind of domestic situation that he wanted to achieve.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/irishman-trapped-by-paedophile-hunters-is-jailed-in-uk-41913327.html Irish man caught by pedophile hunters is in prison in the UK