Suspected paedophile caught in Wigan sting

The suspect, 'Phil', is arrested in Aspull
The suspect, 'Phil', is arrested in Aspull
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A suspected paedophile is thought to have travelled more than 100 miles to meet a 14-year-old girl in Wigan - but was caught out in a pre-planned “sting”.


The man, who journeyed from his home in Hull to the North West, is said to have asked the girl to send him nude pictures before they arranged a rendezvous in Aspull.

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But the suspect, who has been referred to only as “Phil”, was instead confronted in Wigan Road by Danny Holding, who had been posing as the teenager online via a messaging service.

Mr Holding, who claims to have been responsible for nearly 40 similar operations, is seen repeatedly challenging the man, as he backtracks towards Kirkless St.

“Phil” then attempted to run off but was eventually detained in Withington Lane, with the assistance of a passerby.

Mr Holding, 28, said: “I always use the same profile, with the same pictures, and wait for someone to contact me.

“I’d been messaging this guy for about two weeks.”

“I told Phil that someone had added me on the site for a laugh.

“He wanted me to send naked pictures of myself but I told him the camera on my phone was broken.”

His messages, as well as asking for her phone number, also included a request to see whether the girl he believed he was contacting would share a bed with him

“He said he was going to come down on the Friday at first before he messaged again and said he would be there on Saturday,” added Danny.

“I’d given him the postcode already so as soon as I knew he was here I went to see him.”

“As soon as he saw me he clocked who he had really been talking to so he tried to get away.”

Police later arrived on the scene and arrested “Phil”. He is understood to have been released on bail while investigations continue.

Mr Holding insists that he is not part of any wider paedophile sting grouping, or vigilante organisation, and his main aim is to protect people from online abuse.

Earlier this year Mr Holding carried out a similar sting at Wigan North Western railway station, again amid claims that the suspect thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl for sex.

On that occasion the man was said to have travelled from Liverpool to meet the “youngster”, before police also stepped in and made an arrest.