‘Sexual grooming’ suspect arrested after Lisburn confrontation

The man was released on Saturday.
The man was released on Saturday.

A 45-year-old man has been arrested in Lisburn on suspicion of ‘sexual grooming’ offences after being confronted by the internet vigilante ‘sexual predator hunter’ group Silent Justice.

During what the group calls a “sting” operation, the suspect was confronted while a video of the encounter was streamed live on Facebook.

Police arrived at the scene around 25 minutes later and the man was detained.

A PSNI spokeswoman told the News Letter: “Police in Lisburn arrested a 45 year old man in the city earlier today (Friday, 20 October) on suspicion of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and attempting sexual communication with a child.”

The UK-wide Silent Justice group has carried out a number of similar actions in Northern Ireland in recent months.

In August this year, a 50-year-old man in the north Antrim area is believed to have taken his own life after being confronted, live on camera, by Silent Justice members.

Speaking to the News Letter in the days following that incident, a member of the group defended the controversial methods used to expose suspected offenders.

At the time, PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke said he had concerns around the methods used by Silent Justice.

“I don’t understand, and I am troubled by, this concept of confrontation, exposé, and live [video] streaming,” he said.