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Vigilante is held over attacks on 'internet perverts'

By Ryan Hooper

Published 20/04/2015

A vigilante paedophile hunter was arrested in connection with attacks on men allegedly blackmailed over suspicions they tried to meet up with underage girls
A vigilante paedophile hunter was arrested in connection with attacks on men allegedly blackmailed over suspicions they tried to meet up with underage girls

A vigilante paedophile hunter was arrested in connection with attacks on men allegedly blackmailed over suspicions they tried to meet up with underage girls.

The 25-year-old man from Wigan is being held by Greater Manchester Police on suspicion of assault and blackmail.

Detectives said two men suspected of being paedophiles by the vigilante group have also been arrested - one, a 25-year-old from Skelmersdale, has been charged with attempting to meet a girl under 16 after grooming.

The second man (19) has been released on bail on suspicion of committing a similar offence.

Police said the first incident happened last Friday at around 9pm, when the 19-year-old man arranged to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl in a church car park in Atherton.

When he arrived he was filmed being attacked by a group of men who accused him of being a paedophile, and of having arranged to meet up with an underage girl.

The man managed to get away from the group, but later received messages demanding money and threats the group would upload the video of him on Facebook.

The next day the man reported the incident to the police and was arrested. He has been bailed pending further inquiries.

The second incident happened at 2.40pm on Saturday when concerned shoppers witnessed the Skelmersdale man being beaten up at Market Place in Wigan.

The group accused the man of arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl online. The man was attacked by one of the men in the group, and lost two of his teeth.

The rest of the group filmed the incident which has since been posted online. The man got away from the group and went to the police station to report the incident. He has subsequently been charged with the grooming offence, police said.

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