Bondage obsessive, 37, tried to groom 13-year-old by offering to be ‘sex friend’

A sick pervert who tried to groom a 13-year-old girl online has been jailed after he was caught in a sting by vigilante paedo hunters.

Gareth Holliday, 37, offered to be the child’s “sex friend”, but was snared by the group when he turned up expecting to hook up with the young girl he thought he’d be chatting to.

Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard that Holliday had told “the girl” he enjoyed being bound, penetrated with sex toys and having his privates electrocuted with a cattle prod.

But instead of meeting his potential victim outside Superdrug in Rochdale in August 2020, he was ambushed by a group called the Elusive Child Protection Unit.

He was greeted by shouts of “You like being tied up? Well you’re tied up now,” as a livestream of the trap was watched by 134,000 people.

Holliday, from Blackburn, puffed on a cigarette before being led away by cops.

He has now been jailed for 32 months and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life after admitting attempted sexual communications with a child, attempting to meet a child after grooming and attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity.

The court heard Holliday contacted the ‘paedophile hunter’ in August 2020 via a chat app after she set up a bogus profile – “Maddison” – on various social media platforms.

Anna Bond, prosecuting, told the court that Holliday said he wanted to be the girl’s sex friend, and said he would wear a condom. He then gave her his phone number.

“Over a 16-day period the defendant sent explicit photos of himself and made plans to have sex with her,” she said.

During the illicit exchanges, Holliday told the paedophile hunter that they should delete their messages, and added: ‘I'll get locked up if the police find out because you’re 13.’

In police interviews, he said he’d struggled with what to talk about on the messages so they had spoken about sexual stuff, and he said he enjoyed bondage, BDSM, hardcore porn and sex toys.

Holliday’s counsel, Mark Friend, said: “He has learning difficulties and is a vulnerable individual. His partner, who is also someone with learning difficulties, has been in a relationship with him for some time.”

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Sentencing the sicko, Judge Elliot Knopf told him: “You believed when she told you she was 13 that she was 13. Your communication with that person developed very quickly into communications relating to sexual activity.

“You then arranged to meet with her at a location with the purpose of having sex with the girl in your car.

“You led her to believe that she, having expressed concern about pregnancy, you would bring condoms with you but none were found when you were searched. The purpose of this meeting was in little or no doubt.”

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