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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heartfelt memories of Derek Descoteau four years later

Victim of Chemainus murder and his brother leave a huge impact on a large group of friends

Ladysmith PRC restarts registered programming June 1

The programming will feature a mix of live Zoom classes, and outdoor in-person classes

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Chemainus family pledges $50,000 to Chemainus Theatre Crisis Relief Fund

The Hilton family pledged $50,000 toward a matched fund. If fully matched, it will raise $100,000

Local woman makes face masks to raise funds for LRCA Food Bank

Cheryl Lowrence made 30 face masks and raised $326.25 for the food bank

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Ken Monkhouse, ‘Monkey’ on Highway Thru Hell TV show, passes away

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read