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Mark McKone, Glenn Parsons, Andrew Semple and Robin Frieze obtain acquittals in landmark ‘Paedophile Hunters’ trial

Members of Park Square Barristers Chambers represented 4 out of the 6 defendants tried at Leeds Crown Court in one of the first cases of its kind.

All the defendants were members of ‘Predator Exposure’ or ‘Net Justice’, internet based groups that were dedicated to exposing online paedophiles.  Members of the groups posing as under-age children would be targeted by online groomers and child sex-offenders.  The groups would then record the online chat and confront the perpetrators in person, in what they termed as ‘stings’ either at their homes or in public places, streaming the event live on Facebook while detaining the suspects until the police arrived.

West Yorkshire police brought proceedings against the groups on the basis that these detentions were unnecessary and were unlawful and therefore amounted to offences of False Imprisonment and Assault. Each defendant relied on their rights to make citizens arrests pursuant to s.24A of PACE 1984, on the basis that the police had failed to take action in the past when alerted to the illegal online activity of the offenders and therefore, the groups had no choice but to put the suspects under arrest themselves in order to force the police to act.

The jury took 8 hours to acquit all the defendants following an 8 day trial.

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Contact their clerks

Andrew Thornton on 0113 213 5202

Gina Hawkins on 0113 213 5205

Rebecca Wilson on 0113 213 5203

Hannah Dempsey on 0113 213 5211

Elaine Foster-Morgan on 0113 213 5217

Robyn Nichol on 0113 213 5253

This article is available to download.