Screenshot of Creep Catchers sting in February 2017.

B.C. judge rejects jail time for man with disabilities caught in Creep Catchers sting

Kamloops man Loyd Fawcett engaged online with what turned out to be a member of the vigilante group

A Kamloops man with developmental disabilities at the centre of a Creep Catchers sting will serve a six-month conditional sentence, after a B.C. judge ruled that he was coaxed into the incident by the vigilante group.

Loyd Douglas George Fawcett will also be on probation for two years, provincial court Justice Stella Frame wrote in her decision released Tuesday.

Fawcett had pleaded guilty to child luring, which carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of one year when convicted by indictment.

READ MORE: Surrey Creep Catchers prez not done with ‘stings’ after pleading guilty to assault

But Frame said that would be “grossly disproportionate” because of his cognitive disabilities and what she called an “unethical” sting by the vigilante group whose members are known for pretending to be underage girls on dating websites in efforts to lure out pedophiles.

“It is a misguided and ill-plotted case of Creep Catchers’ luring an intellectually challenged person who was seeking adult companionship into communicating with an imaginary 12-year-old,” Frame said.

According to court documents, Fawcett was on an adult dating app when he came across a profile of a 19-year-old woman named Taylor in late 2016.

Creep Catchers member Chantelle Bradner, who was behind the fake profile, began communicating with him. Eventually, she told him she was actually 12 years old.

Fawcett continued to communicate with her, sending her sexual messages. At one point, he said he’d like to marry her.

He eventually arranged to meet the girl, in February 2017. That’s when Creep Catchers showed up instead, with their camera out.

Frame called Fawcett’s actions “very serious.”

“Even when his cognitive challenges and naiveté are taken into account, there are still elements of subterfuge and grooming that are troubling.”

READ MORE: B.C. man busted in Creep Catchers-style sting sentenced to two years

However, she also determined that without Bradner’s actions, the man wouldn’t have committed any crime.

“Chantelle Bradner essentially induced Mr. Fawcett into committing an offence that had not occurred to him to engage in,” she wrote, adding there is nothing to indicate pedophilia.

Judge considers man’s cognitive challenges

Much of the sentencing decision focused on Fawcett’s upbringing and learning challenges as a child.

He was deemed intelligently challenged as early as six years old and was raised by his grandparents for most of his life.

In 2004, he married his then-girlfriend after she got pregnant with their daughter.

However, the court heard he and his wife, who also had intellectual disabilities and possible substance dependence, were unable to care for the child. They separated without divorce in 2006 and their daughter went to live with Fawcett’s mother.

A court-ordered assessment found he is capable of making basic meals and helping out around his mother’s house, but he is “psychologically naïve and lacking in insight.”

Creep Catchers posted man’s telephone number, licence plate

Frame also determined that while Fawcett was never in danger, “almost certainly there was an obstruction of justice, mischief, interference in the administration of justice, and undermining of the rule of law from beginning to end” by Creep Catchers.

The court heard the group posted two YouTube videos that showed Fawcett’s identity, where he lived and the vehicle he drove. One of the videos contained his chat logs and his phone number, and had been viewed 2,000 times.

The judge considered the publicity of the videos in her sentencing, as well as the safety risk Fawcett faced after the group put the incident online before contacting police so officers could conduct a proper investigation and recommend charges.

“As I have said, the Creep Catchers induced a cognitively challenged person who was not setting out to commit an offence into committing an offence, preying upon his cognitive disabilities in the process,” Frame wrote.

“This reduces his moral blameworthiness along with the other factors I have mentioned. This is precisely why such vigilante organizations are dangerous to all citizens and interfere with the administration of justice.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Williams Lake saved my life’ says cyclist who revisits town where he hit rock bottom

Tyler Waddell travels 2,600 from B.C. to Yukon to awareness about mental health issues

Washout hits Highway 97 north of Cache Creek

Drivers turning back as road is impassable

Billy Barker Days costume shop now open in West Quesnel

You’ll find all the dresses, hats and boas you need at the West Park Mall

Finding their 4-H wings in Quesnel

Members of Cariboo Wolf Pack 4-H Club spot rare Virginia Rail near Dragon Lake

UNBC student will run for Cariboo-Prince George Green Party in federal election

Mackenzie Kerr says she is ‘deeply committed’ to climate action

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read