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“Every other week, there seems to be a story in the papers about anti-pedophile vigilantes, who lure pedos into meeting them so that they can beat them up, blackmail them, or simply expose them. Those responsible have been touted as everything from heroes to reckless idiots intent on ruining lives. Around a decade ago, a friend of mine tried his hand at anti-pedo vigilantism, but his motivation wasn’t heroism or trying to destroy anyone’s future; he just though that it could be a laugh. As it turned out, he was shit at it, and failed to net a single pedophile. This is the story of his spectacular failure, in his own words”. – Nick Chester.

 

Around 2006, I found myself out of work for quite a long time, and eventually thought, Fuck it, I might as well give crime a go. It was to give me something to do rather than for the money. I was bored out of my skull most days, and wanted a bit of excitement.

The problem was that I’m morally against most forms of crime. I’m an atheist and don’t believe in any divinely handed down code of morality, but the guiding principle of ‘don’t be a cunt’ has always featured heavily in my decision-making process. Burgling people’s houses or robbing old grannies would have definitely gone against that principle. There was always drug dealing, but I didn’t know enough people who took drugs to make a vast amount from that. The only remaining option was to be a cunt, but only to people who were cunts themselves, thus making me actually not a cunt.

 

 NBC’s reality series ‘To Catch a Predator’ enjoyed both critical acclaim and criticism for its on camera sting operations.

NBC’s reality series ‘To Catch a Predator’ enjoyed both critical acclaim and criticism for its on camera sting operations. Image: NBC

After spending a couple of days pondering who the most cunt-like victims would be, I narrowed it down to people who liked the Matrix sequels and practising pedophiles. I decided that the latter were marginally worse, and put together a plan for extracting money from them. The plan consisted of setting up a fake online profile pretending to be a fourteen-year-old girl, chatting to some pedos on MSN Messenger until they said incriminating stuff, arranging to meet them, and marching them to a cash machine to rob them. Once they handed over the cash, I’d make it clear that I had evidence of our conversations, and that if they ever even thought about going to the police, the chat logs would be posted to everyone they knew.

I set up the profile on a social networking site called Faceparty that was popular back then, and used a photo of an attractive woman that I found on Google Images as the bait. The girl in the photo was over eighteen, but I clearly stated in the ‘About me’ section that she was fourteen so that the nonces [pedophiles] couldn’t make excuses. Within a matter of minutes, my inbox was flooded, which came as a bit of a shock. I had expected the odd message, but there were pages of them. Wow, I thought to myself. There really are a lot of pedophiles out there.

The first pedo I chatted to turned out to be in a wheelchair. My housemate kept telling me that I should let him off the hook because it would be tight to rob him, but I figured anyone who tries it on with a fourteen year old is fair game no matter what disabilities they’ve got. As I got deeper into the conversation, he started telling me how lonely and isolated he had become since being confined to the chair. I tried to avoid feeling sorry for him – after all, there’s no excuse for being a nonce – but he went on and on and on, pouring his heart out about how shit his life was. Okay fuck this, I thought. There’s no way I’m robbing this guy. It sounds like things are bad enough for him already.

Pedo number 2 was a ginger guy with Tourette’s syndrome. He also seemed to have a bit of a shit life, and confided in me that he was constantly having the piss taken out of him. He went on about how no girls his own age liked him because of his condition, which is a shit excuse because I’m sure plenty of people with all kinds of afflictions don’t end up as child molesters. I couldn’t help but take pity on him though, and let him off the hook as well. To be fair, he probably would’ve dropped himself in it at some point anyway by shouting out ‘I’ve been planning on shagging a fourteen-year-old!’ during a bout of Tourettes.

Daniel Everett, 33 was arrested after attempting to meet an undercover officer who had been posing as a 14 year old girl online.

Daniel Everett, 33 was arrested after attempting to meet an undercover officer who had been posing as a 14 year old girl online. Image: Michigan State Gov.

Pedo 3 was a fat geeky guy with a neck beard who constantly boasted about his previous sexual conquests. I was sure he was lying, because he looked like a big, slimy toad, and dressed as if his mum still chose his clothes for him. He kept asking me to go on cam for him, so I got my housemate to put her hair in pigtails to make her look younger and sit in front of the web cam whilst I stood out of sight and told her what to type. I put the camera on a deliberately blurry setting so that he couldn’t tell that she wasn’t the girl on the profile pic, and made the excuse that I didn’t have a mic.

This guy was the creepiest bloke imaginable. He was constantly wanking on cam and going on about how he had a back fetish and would love to see my back, which is a really obscure thing to get off on. I had to keep making excuses, saying things like ‘You can see my lovely sexy back when we meet – it’ll be something to look forward to’.

He was also really brazen about being a pedo, and kept casually referring to the fact that I was supposedly fourteen. I had soon compiled pages of evidence against him, including chat logs, photos of him naked, and even footage of him wanking. It was time to arrange a meet.

Unfortunately, the Toad stood me up. I had arranged to meet him at Shipley train station, and ended up having to wait an hour for the next train back. Pedos, eh? Unreliable bastards.

The Toad never showed his face (or penis) on MSN after that. He must have been spooked by something. I was beginning to get disheartened with the whole vigilante thing. Whilst at the station waiting for my sexy date, I had been shitting myself in case it was a police sting or Toad was actually built like Mike Tyson and planning on giving me a kicking. Still, I was determined to rob at least one pedo, so I fired up MSN and got chatting with pedo number 3.

Pedo 3 was another ginger, this time a skinny, spotty one who kept going on about all the boxing competitions he had supposedly won. I fed him a load of compliments about how big and strong he must be, and in no time at all, he was talking about his dick and inviting me to his house. Although this guy was socially awkward as fuck, he seemed slightly more threatening than the other nonces, so I got a little crew together in case he put up any resistance. I told them all to dress in tracksuits so that we could intimidate him with our rough-looking appearance and wouldn’t need to use violence. This was pretty stupid, as a) the simple act of putting a tracksuit on doesn’t actually make someone look harder, and b) I think most people would be intimidated by the fact that there were 5 of us irrespective of what we were wearing.

In 2007, vigilantes set fire to the home of convicted sex offender Timothy Chandler. Chandler escaped the fire, but his wife was burned alive.

In 2007, vigilantes set fire to the home of convicted sex offender Timothy Chandler. Chandler escaped the fire, but his wife was burned alive.

We got the bus to the Odsal estate in Bradford, where the pedo lived, but couldn’t find his house. We didn’t have any girls in our crew, so we couldn’t get anyone to pretend to be the fourteen-year-old and ring him for directions. An estate warden soon got onto us wandering aimlessly about the place, and asked us what we were up to. We told him that we were lost and gave him the address to see if he could help us, which he could, because we were actually right in front of the nonce’s house. At this point, we didn’t really know what to do. We stood around twiddling our thumbs for a while and then thought fuck this and buggered off back home. To be honest, we probably would have shat it even if the warden hadn’t been there. I had been ready to sack the whole thing off at the slightest opportunity, and felt relieved to have been given an excuse.

I learnt three things from my failed attempt at being an anti-pedo vigilante: firstly, I’m definitely not cut out for a life of crime, secondly, there are actually a fuck of a lot of pedos out there, and finally, that it’s quite difficult to stop yourself from feeling empathy towards people even though they’re terrible human beings. No matter how awful a person is, an element of guilt is always going to come into play when you consciously set out to do something bad to them. I’m glad people get paid to lock nonces up and make sure that they’re held accountable for their crimes, because I’m far too wet to exact punishment upon them. I guess I’m just an all-round great guy.

*As told by ‘Barry’ to Nick Chester. 

Follow Nick on Twitter.

 

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