Dad saw red after man arranged to meet 12-year-old daughter in Skegness park

News from the courts
News from the courts

After a man found messages from a man on his 12 year old daughter's phone, he arranged to meet him in a Skegness park and then 'saw red' and beat him up, a court has heard.

The 27 year old man from the Frampton area of Boston, who cannot be named as that would identify his daughter, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and theft of a mobile phone, when he appeared at Boston Magistrates Court.

Prosecuting, Shelley Wilson said the man became aware of the messages on his daughter's phone and contacted the sender, pretending to be a young girl, and agreed to meet him in Skegness' Tower Gardens on July 7.

She said the man, together with a 28 year old friend who video recorded the meeting, went up to the victim, who is 18 years old and with learning difficulties and and lives in Skegness, had a conversation with him in which he admitted he had been ringing the girl and that he had a photograph of her on his phone.

She said he took the phone from the victim and then knocked him to the ground, punched him while he was on the ground and then kicked him in the head, and then warned him never to contact his daughter again before he and his friend left the park.

Ms Wilson said that when he was later arrested, he admitted he had 'slapped him around the face' and alleged he was a paedophile and that he had snapped the phone in half and left it in a bin to prevent him using it again.

She said he told the police that when he went there he had intended to get the phone and take it to the police, but when he mentioned his daughter, 'he lost it'.

Ms Wilson said that although the victim was not seriously injured, it was a case of 'lesser harm, greater culpability' because he had lured the victim to a location, taken another person with him and had used a shod foot as a weapon.

Mitigating, Philippa Chatterton said the man had made a 'full and frank confession'.

She said that when he checked the victim's phone, it was clear he knew how old his daughter was and in messages to her, he had referred to getting her pregnant.

Ms Chatterton said the man had gone to the police when he first discovered the messages but they had told him it would be difficult to prosecute until something 'actually happened'.

She added that until he met the man, he did not know if it was really an 18 year old or a paedophile gang,

which was why he had arranged to meet in a public open space.

She said the man who has no previous convictions, accepted what he had done was wrong.

The magistrates told him he could 'not take the law into' his own hands. Sentencing him to 26 weeks in prison suspended for a year, they told him it had been 'a serious assault'

and that it 'crossed the custody threshold'.

He was also ordered to pay £222 in charges and compensation.

• * A 28 year old man who accompanied the defendant to the park but who is believed not to have taken part in the actual assault, entered no plea to assault at the same hearing and his case was adjourned at the request of the defence.