Paedophile Hunter told the story of Stinson Hunter, a former tearaway who decided to make up for a life of arson, skag and zero education by catching men who use the internet to meet underage children for sex.
Stinson starts by posing as a young teen in online forums, complete with duck-face selfie and emoji-filled username. He lures men in with an unnervingly well-rehearsed series of responses to their lascivious advances, meaning conversation usually reaches sexual saturation point. Once he’s received enough dick-pics/videos (which he seems to view at an alarming frequency) he’ll arrange to meet the disturbed man at a decoy house.
This is where the fun really starts, because if the perp actually shows he’s met by Stinson and co., all of whom are filming him. The nonce is now totally fucked, and his face sinks as he realises his life is irreversibly ruined.
I actually think Stinson’s cause is a noble one, if misguided. After all, he hands the evidence to police and it has lead to convictions. However, his method of uploading all of the footage to his Facebook page and humiliating the person online is morally bankrupt. Mob justice is swift and irresponsible, and promoting it can destroy lives even if there is no evidence of a crime. One man has already killed himself as a result of Stinson’s efforts. It’s unlikely the case against him would’ve led to prosecution.
But I can see why he has his supporters. There aren’t a lot of heroes any more, so sharing a Stinson vid of a suspected nonce can make you feel like you’ve exacted your own piece of justice. It may be prejudicial, but in an age where legal wrangling is complex and attention can be stolen in an instant by something more titillating, there’s no time for boring facts or admissible evidence. We want blood and we don’t want to step away from the screen to get it.
With this is mind, let's look at the sad story of Brenda Leyland. Whether out of boredom or spite, the 63-year-old from Leicester recently took to Twitter to troll Madeleine McCann’s parents. For a family who will probably never see their 3-year-old daughter again and will never find out what happened on the night she was stripped from their lives (lol unless they did it lol), offensive tweets must sit near the bottom of the shittiness league table.
For the people at Sky News, whose rotten gut ticks over thanks to a proprietary blend of 24/7 misinformation, contrived bullshit and public hysteria, Brenda’s crime was on a par with noncing up a kid sharpish. So, like Stinson and his nonces, they thought they better throw her to the wolves by shoving a camera in her face during live TV.
Her image was then splashed over newspapers and the clip was recycled by other channels. Even though she committed a 'crime' that can be remedied by logging off and closing your laptop, the weight of public scorn meant she pretty much killed Maddie herself. Yesterday, Brenda was found dead in a hotel room - a presumed suicide.
Nice work Sky News, and particularly reporter Martin Brunt. The new breed of justice we all crave was served, it’s just a shame you didn’t give us the chance to lob rotting fruit at Brenda before you strung her up.