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Paedophile attacked two girls hours after release from jail

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A paedophile who was caught by online vigilantes went on to sexually attack two teenagers just hours after being released on bail.

Neil Skelton, 32, had been remanded in custody before a judge made the decision to release him on bail.

He had been arrested in a park in Leyland, Lancashire, on May 1 after going to meet what he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

Paedophile snared by vigilantes attacked two girls hours after being released from jail Credit: Hull Live

Neil Skelton had been remanded in custody after he went to meet what he thought was a 13-year-old girl (Picture: Hull Live)

However when he got there for 8.20pm, his vehicle was blocked by members of the Facebook group, Catching Online Predators, who called police and detained him until their arrival.

Claire Holmes, prosecuting, told Hull Crown Court on Friday that the sting happened after Skelton, 32, sent a Facebook friend request to someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl on April 25.

Miss Holmes added: She told the defendant she was 13 and the Facebook page she set up showed a date of birth consistent with her being 13 and made reference to a 13th birthday.

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Skelton also asked for pictures from behind and said he wished she was 18.

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He asked if they could meet so he could teach her how to kiss properly, the prosecutor said.

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He also sent a video of people kissing to the fictitious girl and asked if she would like to do that, in addition to a video of man performing a sex act on a woman, and suggested he could do the same to her.

He also sent sexual pictures he said were of him and asked her to send pictures of her bottom in leggings and while she was in the bath.

Upon arranging to meet in the park, Skelton told her not to wear knickers and said he couldnt wait to touch her a***, and instructed her to delete messages at various stages.

Whilst being interviewed by police, Skelton denied having a sexual motive and said he thought they could just be friends.

Paedophile Neil Skelton

Neil Skelton, laid down between two girls and sexually assaulted both of them whilst also trying to kiss them (Picture: Hull Live/BPM MEDIA)

After being remanded in custody, Skelton was released on bail by a judge in Preston following which he got on a train back to his then-home in Gilberdyke.

Whilst walking through a park, he came across a group including two teenage girls.

Skelton laid down between the girls and sexually assaulted both of them whilst also trying to kiss them.

One told him: If you touch me again Ill call the police, you paedo.

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Judge Mark Bury, sentencing Skelton on Friday, told him: Theyd have called you that before if they knew what youd been arrested for in Preston.

Referring to the decision to release him on bail, Judge Bury said: Im making no criticism of the judge who bailed you. No doubt it was presented to him as a one-off, no previous history [of that type of offending], a wife and children at home who were supportive and you were in work. But it turned out to be a poor decision.

Skelton, of Newport Road, North Cave, admitted attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming, and two sexual assaults.

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Richard Thompson, mitigating, referred the judge to a pre-sentence report, as well as letters from Skeltons relatives including his aunt and his mother.

Mr Thompson said: He cant properly explain how it was he became involved in this sort of activity at his age and against his sort of background.

Sentencing Skelton for 30 months, the judge said of the sex attacks: Its totally unacceptable behaviour committed on two young women the very day youd been bailed for a sexual offence by a Crown court judge.

Skelton was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

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