Paedophile trapped by vigilant parents
December 23, 2009
The parents of a girl who was being groomed for sex by a paedophile online through her Facebook account have managed to lure him into a trap by assuming her identity. Fifty-two-year-old Thomas Gibbs had been communicating with the eleven-year-old through the networking site when her parents became suspicious about the nature of the communications. Whilst looking over her daughter’s shoulder the girl’s mother immediately realised that something was wrong because Gibbs was writing about how much he liked the youngster and that her profile picture made him want to kiss her.
The girl’s parents immediately contacted the police but kept up communication with Mr. Gibbs pretending to be their daughter. When Gibbs finally got round to organising a rendezvous with the girl, her parents agreed. Gibbs who is from Witney in Oxfordshire agreed to meet the girl in the town’s centre where he was arrested by waiting police.
The girls parents said that as soon as they took control of communications with Gibbs they knew their daughter was safe. They went on to say that it made them think how many other little girls could have been put in danger. They said that they took some comfort in the fact that Gibbs would not be able to target other families.
Gibbs has been jailed for sixteen months after pleading guilty of twice meeting a child after grooming them on the internet. As well as receiving a custodial sentence Gibbs will also have to put himself on the sex offender’s register for a minimum of five years.