HIV-positive David Cox, 52, pictured, has been jailed for more than two years after being caught trying to meet a ’12-year-old’ boy for sex in a park in Wolverhampton
An HIV-infected paedophile who brought Viagra, booze and poppers to a children’s park thinking he was meeting a 12-year-old boy for unprotected sex has been jailed.
David Cox, 52, simply said ‘Oh God’ when he was cornered by self-styled paedophile hunters carrying a shoulder bag stuffed with sex-enhancing drugs, alcohol and lubricant.
Internet Interceptors confronted him with page after page of explicit texts and images he sent to an undercover decoy posing as a child named Max on gay dating app Grindr.
Sickening chat logs showed he wanted to give him poppers to ‘relax’ before going round to the ‘boy’s’ house for sex while his parents were out – despite being told he was a virgin and had never had a boyfriend.
The vile pervert even tried to justify his actions when challenged, saying age was ‘just a number’ and young guys ‘loved poppers’.
Police were called to Wednesfield Park, Wolverhampton, on March 18 and arrested the suspect after discovering his grooming kit but officers found no condoms.
At Shrewsbury Crown Court, Cox, of Telford, Shropshire, was jailed for two years and three months after pleading guilty to attempting to meet a child for sex following grooming.
He also admitted attempting to cause a child to view an image of sexual activity.
Members of Internet Interceptors travelled more than 200 miles to snare the predator after he bombarded them with obscene messages and videos for nearly three weeks.
The confrontation – filmed live on Facebook – shows him walking past a children’s playground, texting on his smartphone.
The hunters approach him and ask: ‘David Cox?’
His face drops as the reality of the situation dawns and he responds: ‘Oh… God.’
They lead him out of the park away from children playing nearby and tell him to sit on a bench while the police are called.
At first he denies any knowledge of the meeting and claims it is a ‘coincidence’ that they all happened to be there at the same time.
Internet Interceptors confronted Cox in a park, left, and when they ask him to confirm his identity and reason for being there, he can only say ‘Oh God’, right
He eventually admits coming to meet a 12-year-old boy but insists he just wanted to ‘sit and talk about school stuff’.
A male hunter says: ‘Do you know why I’m irate? Properly irate? Because I’ve got a 12-year-old. A boy.’
The female hunter filming the sting says: ‘You say you’re not bothered about age, don’t you? You’re not bothered about age, that’s what you said.’
Cox replies flippantly: ‘Well, age is just a number.’
Incensed, they call him ‘disgusting’ and ask: ‘Are you sick in the head?’
He says: ‘Well, I don’t know why he’s on there in the first place.’
The woman fires back: ‘You idiots always come out with the same excuse. Why are you speaking to him? Who gave you the God-given right to speak to a child?’
Cox will spend ten years on the sex offenders register. He was also given a ten-year sexual harm prevention order.
After the case, a spokesman for Internet Interceptors – which has helped secure dozens of convictions for child grooming – said Cox was ‘probably the worst sexual predator we’ve got’.
The paedophile hunters then walk him to a bench and repeatedly question him until he confesses, with Cox also heard telling them ‘age is just a number’
Judge Peter Barrie, sentencing, said there was no doubt the defendant intended to sexually abuse a child.
He told Cox: ‘From the outset the person you were talking with told you he was aged 12.
‘You set about a process of grooming that person, setting up a meeting at which I am satisfied you intended and expected sexual contact would take place.
‘The fact that the internet harbours sites such as Grindr does not mean everyone has to make use of them. If you do then it is quite clear you are looking for sexual contact.’
Christopher O’Gorman, defending, claimed Cox had condoms in his car but this was not searched by police.
He added: ‘No child was put in danger, it being an operation carried out by vigilantes.’