A Luton man nabbed by a pair of ‘paedophile hunters’ has been told to expect an immediate prison sentence.
Leslie Turner, 54, of Cromwell Hill, was arrested after arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl at Luton train station last month.
What Turner did not know is that the ‘girl’ he had been sending illicit messages to was actually Dunstable couple Neil and Katie Ivall, who had set up a fictional profile of a teen on a social media website.
At Luton Crown Court yesterday Turner pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to meet a child through sexual grooming.
Sentencing was adjourned to September 29.
Judge Stuart Bridge told Turner: “You have pleaded guilty at the first opportunity but it is obviously a very serious offence.
“There is a strong likelihood that you will receive an immediate custodial sentence.”
Footage of the confrontation at Luton train station shows Turner telling Neil Ivall: “I was teasing her, I wasn’t going to go through with anything”.
He adds: “I was only going to talk to her.
“I shouldn’t have done it...contact her.”
The clip also shows Mr Ivall asking Turner how he feels, to which the 54-year-old responds: “Ashamed, for coming down here.”
Turner is the first of two Luton men to face trial after being apprehended by the Ivalls.
The other man– who handed himself into police after being confronted outside The Mall– is due to appear in court next week.
Since first deciding to take on the task of handing over alleged paedophiles to the police a month ago, Neil and Katie Ivall have conducted ‘stings’ across the country.
The couple’s first meeting came with Peter McCallum, 33, from Coventry, who later handed himself in to police.
McCallum has pleaded guilty to charges of communicating and attempting to meet two girls under the age of 16.
He will be sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on September 21.