Jail for dangerous sex offender snared by paedophile hunters
- Credit: Norfolk police
The conviction of a dangerous sex offender caught by paedophile hunters encouraged two victims from 40 years ago to come forward to ensure he did not ruin other lives, a court heard.
Lee Vincent, 54, was caught by a paedophile hunter group after having sexual conversations with a girl he thought was 12, but in fact was an adult decoy working for the group, Norwich Crown Court heard.
William Carter, prosecuting, said the group posted footage online of them confronting Vincent in March 2019 about his online sexual grooming and this was seen by two victims he sexually abused 40 years ago.
They also found out that Vincent had a previous conviction for indecent exposure in Great Yarmouth, in February 2019, which Mr Carter said prompted them to finally come forward to police.
Mr Carter said one victim said Vincent raped her as a child and indecently assaulted her and the second victim had also been indecently assaulted by Vincent, when she was about 10.
In victim impact statements, the court heard the abuse had a profound effect on both victims and they hoped this would bring closure and prevent other lives being ruined by Vincent.
Vincent, of Canterbury Way, Thetford, admitted rape, attempted rape and indecent assault on one victim and indecent assault on a second victim back in the 1980s.
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He also admitted attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity between January and March 2019.
Jailing him for seven and half years, Judge Anthony Bate described Vincent as a dangerous offender and said: "You continue to pose a high risk of serious harm to girls."
He said Vincent had a sexual preoccupation with young girls and committed the online offences while on bail and on community service for the indecent exposure offence.
Vincent was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and is on the sex offender register for life.
Danielle O'Donovan, for Vincent, said he was ashamed of what he had done. She said as an evangelical Christian he was struggling to come to terms with everything. "He is a man deeply confused."