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Unlawful NHS Checks, threats to sting and threats of violence… this is our SPECIAL INVESTIGATION into the world of Paedophile Hunters…

Copyright 2018  |  All Rights Reserved
South Wales News Service | Part of the SMA Media Group

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24/06/2018  |  00:19 |  By: Shaun Ashford & Gemma Cowell,  SMA Media Group

Huntz 2 Exposure has a following of more than seven thousand people on Facebook (Picture: Facebook)

Paedophile hunting groups have been operating within the UK for a number of years. Groups such as Dark Justice, The Guardian Angels, Huntz 2 Exposure and Predator Exposure use adults that pose online as children to try and snare predators who prey on children as young as 8.

Concerns have been raised surrounding the way in which these vigilante groups operate and gather their evidence.

In 2018, we sent our reporters into one group, Huntz 2 Exposure, to find out the dark secrets of how these groups operate, what goes through their minds, what makes a good decoy and behind the scenes exclusives.

Huntz 2 Exposure, founded my ‘Matt Huntz’ also known as ‘Matt Stone’ and Amy Kidley - both living within the Bradford area founded the group in 2017 although had been members of another group, Protecting the Innocent for a period of time.

Since beginning the group, there has been a significant number of claims of corrupt behaviour, threats of violence and threats to “sting” people that had gone up against the group, questioning the way in which the team carried out their investigations. Members of the public called, “nonce appreciators” and “paedophile sympathisers” for asking a question about the way the group operates or the way that information is shared.

There would be a daily message from the group leaders asking if there was any update from decoys, finding out if anybody was ready for a sting. Nobody ever was though. During the time our reporters were decoys, anybody that got in touch gave us polite warnings about internet safety and what ‘some’ men and woman come onto chat rooms looking for.

Late into the night, the decoy phone would ‘ping’… a nude picture had been sent. The decoy straight away replied saying, “OMG why would you send that, I’m 13!” The account was restricted straight away… the poster had reported the decoy for being underage.

Our instructions were simple, set up another account under a new name, location and age.

Amy Kidley and Matt Huntz, Founders of
Huntz 2 Exposure

Joining the group was easy. Our reporters were initially asked for formal identification, however after claiming that they couldn’t find it, they were welcomed in to the team. In just a few short minutes, they were given instructions by a ‘Decoy Trainer’, a person tasked with providing training to decoys before they are put to work. In reality, the training consisted of a few tasks and a handbook sent by email. The goal was simple, “gather as much evidence as possible” and “always state your fake age within the first 3 messages”.

There was a useful checklist for decoys to follow before a sting could take place. Shockingly there wasn’t that many tasks to do before the founders would sting the “target”. In this modern world, obtaining information and photographs of other people is easily done, yet not one of the tasks included any form of checks to ensure that the person within the photograph was in fact the person that they were not only speaking to, but the person the group would expose all over the internet as a paedophile.

“Handbook Quote”

Members of Huntz 2 Exposure would communicate through private messenger on the popular site, Facebook. 3 private chat groups were set up including “Huntz Important Chat”, “Huntz Banter Chat” and “Huntz Most Wanted Mugshots”. Receiving ‘d**k pics’ was a common feature for our reporters too, not from online predators but from members of the Huntz 2 Exposure team. Sharing pictures of ones that they had received in order to mock them was a daily, sometimes hourly feature during our covert investigation into the group.

Rebecca Richmond, Paediatric Nurse who conducted NHS background checks on members (Picture: Facebook)

I’ll tell your neighbours… Huntz 2 Exposure threatens to wake up neighbours to “out” alleged offender

This went on at least 4 or 5 times a day. We wondered where all of the ‘perverts’ were that we were told by other decoys would be jumping on us because of our young age and school girl photographs. The truth is, nobody really did.

The Huntz 2 Exposure chat groups constantly spoke about the need to sting somebody. Often talking about setting up accounts and sending out ‘d**k pics’ pretending to be that person just to arrange a sting, things started to become a lot more serious. Our reporters questioned whether or not they could continue their investigation or if they needed to contact the Police, so called paedophile hunters are admitting to setting people up, complete strangers that have done nothing wrong.

The conversation changed though. There had been a breaking discovery within this secret underground world of self styled hunters, there was a convicted paedophile within their team.

Michael Terry, also known as Scouse, had managed to join the group after he was appointed the head of security at The Guardian Angels. Our reporters had spoken to him on the group chat, they sent photographs of their daughter ill in hospital and never thought for a second that somebody within one of these types of groups could have joined with convictions against children. There he was though, there in the middle of the chat page questioning people on alleged targets.

“The paedophile hunting group was infiltrated by… a paedophile”

Founders of Huntz 2 Exposure, Matt and Amy, were quick to demand DBS checks from the members. Most replied quickly saying they couldn’t afford them and that’s when another alleged founder, Becca Boo - real name Rebecca Richmond, came up with the idea of running NHS checks on the members. She said, “the only way I can think is for everyone to send me their NHS numbers in A and E we check for criminal offences when brought through”.

Other members were quick to agree but our reporters clearly couldn’t. We found out that Ms Richmond was a registered nurse working within a busy children’s department at an A&E hospital. We questioned if she should be conducting the checks only to be told that her and a few friends would split them between themselves to prevent any unwanted attention from their senior managers. We knew at that point, they weren’t seeking permission to run the checks, making them unlawful.