A mother posed as a school girl on Facebook to catch a pedophile who groomed 12-year-old girls for sex online. The man, named Micheal Hulme, used his alias John Holmes to chat with pre-teen girls on Facebook and Whatsapp. Hulme, a father of five children, urged two girls whom he had been grooming for sex to send him ‘explicit pictures of themselves’ after which he arranged to meet them in different parks. Unknown to the 43-year-old, a mother of one of the girls posed as her 12-year-old daughter whom Hulmes had already groomed for sex after the girl started acting suspicious.
The mother’s suspicions began following her daughter’s changed attitude, hence she decided to go through her computer and social media. She discovered her daughter chatting with the pedophile so the mom pretended as her preteen online. Trent Crown Curt hearing revealed, “the girl’s mother sets up a Facebook account to receive all notifications of messages he sends to her daughter and when he asks to meet in the park, the mother goes along with it”. Hulme arrives the park to meet the 12-year-old girl only to flee on seeing a group of the mother’s friends waiting for him along with police. They jot down his car registration number which the police used to arrest him at his home later that night”.
For the second girl, Hulme pretended to be Mike Jones, a 17-year-old college student and exchanged sexplicit pictures with the girl. Hulmes admitted to “two charges of meeting or attempting to meet a child following a sexual grooming and intending to pervert the course of public justice”.
Passing his sentence, Judge Timothy Smith said: ‘There was talk of sexual activity with one girl. Fortunately she did not attend that meeting but you wanted to meet her. At the time you also, under a different name, started to engage another 12-year-old into your own sexual net. It was only because of the wisdom and presence of her mother in setting up the Facebook account that your activity came to light. She took on the character of her daughter and continued in conversations with you having notified the police about what was happening. It is clear these became increasingly sexual in a similar way to the conversations you were having with the other girl”.
Hulme received an order to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and is the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order until further notice. His attorney, Paul Cliff, said: “There is genuine remorse. He appreciates there will be a real impact on the victims. His life now lies in tatters. His wife has indicated their 22-year marriage is over and he has lost his employment. The effect of these convictions will probably remain with him for the rest of his life”.