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Lancaster anti-paedophile group tricked Fishtoft man into thinking they were 13-year-old girl, Lincoln Crown Court told

A man who engaged in sexual communication with a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl has been jailed for 20 months at Lincoln Crown Court.

Dean Callow, 58, was arrested on January 31, 2021 after he was confronted by a Lancashire based anti-paedophile group in a lay-by on the A17 in Lincolnshire.

The court heard today (Wednesday, February 14) Callow had arranged to meet a person he believed was a 13-year-old girl but had withdrawn from the arrangement the day before.

Dean Callow. Photo: Lincolnshire Police
Dean Callow. Photo: Lincolnshire Police

David Eager, prosecuting, said Callow had been in contact with the person he believed was an under-age teenage girl since 21 January 2021.

In reality the person was an adult decoy which had been set up by a Fleetwood based anti-paedophile group, the court was told.

During that period Callow encouraged the decoy to engage in sexual conversations and to exchange images of a sexual nature despite being repeatedly told that they were just 13, Mr Eager said.

Callow, formerly of Eastwood Road, Fishtoft, denied attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity but was convicted by a jury.

The court heard Callow maintained he was the victim of mistaken identity when he was interviewed by the Probation Service and put forward the name of an innocent work colleague during the court proceedings.

Michael Cranmer-Brown, mitigating for Callow, asked for Callow to be given a chance to avoid custody.

"Mr Callow is now 58, he was a man of a good character at the time of these offences," Mr Cranmer-Brown argued.

"When this activity took place in January 2021 he was a man with no previous convictions.

"Drink featured in some of his subsequent convictions, at the time he was on his own, he and his wife separated.

"There has been a long time between the commission of the offence in January 2021 and today.

"It has taken two and half years for him to be sentenced.

"He tells me he now has no Facebook accounts and hasn't been engaging in any social media since this happened.

"This was frankly out of the ordinary for Mr Callow to behave in the way the jury found."

The court heard Callow had now sold his house and was making a fresh start in the Spalding area.

"He is renting, has sold his house and has a 12-year-old dog he is concerned for," Mr Cranmer-Brown added.

"He has moved from the Boston area and wants to move to the Spalding area where he has a number of friends.

"He is looking for work, and is a furniture restorer."

Passing sentence Recorder Graham Huston told Callow he was being sentenced on a basis that the victim was only a decoy.

But Recorder Huston told Callow he had adopted the identity of a young good looking male and continued his activities despite the decoy repeatedly telling him that she was 13.

Recorder Huston said Callow went as far as to suggest booking a hotel for a meeting but withdrew from that arrangement the day before.

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