Belfast Telegraph

Paedophile hunter claims to 'absolutely' be judge, jury and executioner

A self-proclaimed paedophile hunter who cornered a BBC reporter in a Belfast cafe has said he "absolutely" sees himself as "judge, jury and executioner".

George Keenan, who uses the pseudonym James O'Neill, was speaking to the BBC's Nolan Show about his group's activity ahead of the broadcast of a Newsline report by BBC investigative reporter Kevin Magee.

On Tuesday February 6, Mr Keenan and a group of men shot live video footage of them confronting Mr Magee in a coffee shop, apparently angry at his attempts to interview Mr Keenan.

Asked by host Nolan what gave him the sense of entitlement to carry out his group's activities, Mr Keenan said: "Do I see, or did I see myself as judge, jury and executioner? Absolutely I did. I am not there for the pretty blue lights coming round the corner."

In the course of the interview Mr Keenan stated he was no longer involved with any self-proclaimed paedophile hunting group.

Asked if confronting suspected criminals would be better carried out by the police, Mr Keenan said: "There is only one thing that these individuals are afraid of. And if you watch any of my stings back, even watch stings that will take place this week. Any of these teams around Northern Ireland.   

"There is only one thing these individuals fear: it’s that bright light of a torch shining in their face that exposes the wee dark corner that they’re in, preying on our children."

He added that "the police are incompetent" and "the establishment doesn't work, it will never, ever work".

When carrying out a sting, Mr Keenan said his mission is to "destroy every single part of this human being's life before he gets out of my sight and into a police car. And I will do that because they are there to destroy a child".

Journalist Kevin Magee appeared on BBC's Good Morning Ulster and discussed his confrontation by the group.

"It has never been as bad as that, ever. And I’ve been here in this organisation for 25 years and I’ve never had a personal confrontation like that before," he said.

"The irony in all of this for me, is I did everything possible to hear their point of view. Provided they would be able to provide it without hiding behind anonymity, as they do when they are out doing what they do."

Mr Magee's report is set to be screened on tonight's main Newsline bulletin at 6.30pm.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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