Paedophile hunters cornered a taxi driver from south Manchester who had driven nearly 50 miles to meet a '13-year-old girl' for sex.
According to the Manchester evening News, Dad Naveed Ashraf, 37, from Levenshulme, drove to Kidsgrove in North Staffordshire with a pizza for the 'girl' and was later found to have condoms and viagra in his car along with red roses and a gift bag.
However, the girl, who he had previously been messaging for several months, was in fact a decoy set up by the group Justice4Kids who then filmed him arriving at the meeting point and confronted him.
They also alerted police and the footage was passed to officers to ensure Ashraf, was put safely behind bars reports Stoke-on-TrentLive
The shocking footage begins with the exposers arriving at the scene on January 3 this year and quizzing the married dad-of-two about his online sex chats with the young girl.
In the 40-minute film - which was live-streamed on Facebook - the defendant looks sheepish as his reaction to the questioning is filmed.
One of the group says: "Today you've come all the way from Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent to order a pizza for a 13-year-old girl. And you were going back to stay at her property.
"You text the child to let them know you were in the takeaway and you were going to meet her."
Another hunter - who had a print out of the online chats - adds: "You've clearly been speaking to a 13-year-old girl knowingly. You have incited sex.
"What's all this about leggings? You've got a right thing about leggings. Every other page is about leggings.
"One question I really do want to ask you. In these chat logs there was a point where you were trying to arrange to meet the child out in an open space and you were quite concerned that it was cold. And what did you say to her?
"You said 'don't worry I'll keep you warm by rubbing your bum and thighs'. I think that a coat would have been a bit better."
Ashraf finally admits he was planning to meet a child for sex which he is then told is 'statutory rape'.
He goes on to say he feels 'sad' and claims it is the first time he's ever done this. At one point he nearly faints as he goes into shock.
He says: "I feel very bad. My wife is going to be very angry. Forgive me this time. I haven't done anything before. Please. I wouldn't rape anyone. I'm ashamed of myself.
"I wasn't going to do anything, I was just going to eat pizza."
Ashraf is then told that the police are on the way as he remains with his head bowed.
At one point he breaks down in tears and repeatedly shakes his head as he's told he will be going to prison.
After nearly three quarters of an hour, two officers arrive on the scene and Ashraf is led away as the footage comes to an end.
Stoke-On-Trent Crown Court was told at Ashraf's sentencing hearing that he had asked the girl to send him pictures or herself in leggings and her private area. He also sent her pictures of sex positions.
Prosecutor Nick Tatlow said the defendant attempted to incite a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity on July 29, 2019.
Then, between November 2019 and January 2020, he tried to arrange sexual activity with the 13-year-old girl from Kidsgrove, who was in fact a decoy set up by Justice4Kids.
The defendant contacted the girl and said, 'Do you want to have sex with me?'.
Mr Tatlow said: "She responded saying she was only 13. He replied saying, 'It's OK, we do gently and we use condoms'. He reassured her sex was easy with condoms."
The defendant then asked the girl about her private area and asked where they should have sex.
Mr Tatlow said: "He said they could meet at his house and he would pick her up. He sent her his mobile number on WhatsApp."
Following the defendant's arrest, his phone was analysed and google searches including, 'Is it ok to have sex with a 13-year-old girl'? were found.
Michael Goldwater, mitigating, said Ashraf, who has no previous convictions, was 'in every other way is a model citizen'' and that the offences were a 'tragedy' for him and his family.
However Judge David Fletcher said: "This is behaviour by you which is difficult to fathom. In all other aspects of your life you live a perfectly law-abiding existence.
"You went straight in there, talking about the sexual behaviour that you wanted to have with her.
"What makes it more serious is you travelling down to North Staffordshire from South Manchester. You came down with condoms, viagra and other items."
Ashraf was jailed for three years this week after pleading guilty to attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity; attempting to arrange or facilitate sexual activity with a child; and two charges of possession of an indecent image of a child.
He was also made the subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was placed on the sex offenders' register for life.
A petition signed by almost 800 people will be presented to Cheltenham Borough Council calling on the authority to reconsider its planned change to licensed taxis.
GloucestershireLive reports that the council agreed in 2018 that all hackney carriages in Cheltenham would have to be wheelchair accessible from January 2022.
But cabbies say these changes threaten to put some of them out of business as it costs between £22,000 and £35,000 to buy a WAV.
They also say the pandemic has hindered their opportunity to save up the money needed for the upgrades.
Their petition, which has been signed by 793 people calls for the council to delay the implementation of the new policy until 2024.
“The council has been approached regarding the delay of the upcoming policy but has refused to show any understanding or compassion to the taxi trade,” the petition reads.
“Most drivers have not been able to work properly for a year now and have received very little in the way of financial support.
“[Cheltenham Borough Councillor Andrew] McKinlay has stated that the drivers have had enough time to save the money to buy a new wheelchair accessible vehicle but the reality is that most drivers have had to use any savings to get them through this year.
“If there is no delay to the policy many drivers will be forced out of work.
“We would also like to point out that councillors got an automatic one-year extension to their term of office due to this pandemic.”
There are currently 206 hackney carriage licences in Cheltenham, however only 66 of these are for wheelchair accessible vehicles.
The borough council says the licence holders have had sufficient time to plan and prepare for the changes.
They say that changing the implementation of this new policy would penalise licence holders who have already changed their saloon vehicles to WAVs.
And they say there is financial support available to the trade that is aimed at those affected by the pandemic.
Councillors will consider the petition and make a decision at a meeting on Monday June 21.
The MP for Darlington has introduced a private members bill aiming to overhaul the way taxi and private hire vehicle licensing happens.
Peter Gibson, who was one of 20 MPs to be drawn in a ballot to be able to present a bill this session, said the legislation was needed because of rapid innovation.
He presented the bill, which will get a second reading on September 10, on 16 June.
The full title of the bill is “Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (safeguarding and road safety) Bill”.
Mr Gibson had asked members of the public to get in touch with him with their ideas after becoming one of the select few to introduce a private members bill this year.
He said: “There is a need across the country for an overhaul in the way taxi and PHV licensing happens. In an age of rapid innovation in mobility, digitisation, decarbonisation, and passenger safety, it is important that our legislation around taxi and PHV is fit to manage this evolution in public transport.
“There is an appetite among all MPs, regardless of party, to ensure that we as a Parliamentary body continue to ensure that all passengers are protected from unsuitable drivers who shouldn’t be driving.
“With the help of colleagues across the chamber, my Private Members Bill will ensure that the authorities can cooperate fully with one another to prevent unsuitable drivers taking the wheel and endangering our constituents across the country.”
The Government announced a schedule of sitting Fridays earlier this week, with the first Private Members’ Bill Friday now expected to take place on 10 September.
Priority in debating time is given to those MPs who have appeared near the top of the ballot, although all twenty bills will formally appear on the House of Commons order paper.
Private Members’ Bills are Public Bills introduced by MPs who are not government Ministers.
The successful MPs from this year’s ballot will now have their chance to make their mark on the law in the current session.
Bolt set up shop in Wolverhampton and Birmingham on Wednesday 16 June, rivalling Uber which is already in operation across the region.
The Express and Star reports that the service will also be available in Walsall and Solihull, extending into Dudley and Sandwell in the next few weeks.
Bolt first launched in London in 2019. Birmingham and Wolverhampton are the latest pieces of its expansion across the UK.
Bolt taxis will offer a 100 per cent carbon neutral journey, which the firm said complimented Birmingham City Council's introduction of its Clean Air Zone.
Sam Raciti, UK general manager at Bolt, said: "Bolt’s launch in Birmingham and Wolverhampton complements the council’s commitment to sustainability as a 100 per cent carbon-neutral service.
"The implementation of the Clean Air Zone shouldn’t stop Brummies moving around their city freely.
“Whether it’s travelling home from university, a night out in Digbeth or some retail therapy at the Bullring, Birmingham is a natural home for Bolt’s safe, easy and affordable approach to transport.”
With the long-awaited reopening of Broad Marsh Car Park and Bus Station on course for the autumn, Nottingham City Council can reveal the new building will host the largest number of electric vehicle charge points in one location in the whole of the UK.
Work to install the 81 charge points is nearing completion, along with a host of other smart technology that will make customer journeys easier and significantly reduce the site’s carbon footprint.
Councillor Sally Longford, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment, said: “Today is Clean Air Day, and what better day to mark the latest in a history of pioneering initiatives we’ve taken to improve air quality for everyone who lives and works in or visits the city.
“As a council we’ve been at the forefront of embracing new electric vehicle technology, including supporting the transition to cleaner taxis, electric and biogas buses and trams, and converting our own fleet.
“While walking, cycling and using public transport remain the greenest ways to travel, we recognise there are times when a car is the most convenient option. That’s why we’ve encouraged the switch to electric vehicles, which are far kinder to the environment, including developing a regional network of more than 400 charge points in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
“We can’t carry on relying on petrol and diesel vehicles as we have in the past. Thinking about how we travel is essential to reduce air pollution and limit the effects of climate change, and ultimately to protect our planet for future generations.”
Nottingham City Council has an ambition to be the first city in the UK to be entirely carbon neutral by 2028.
In addition to the charge points, which will be operated by BP Pulse, sustainability measures at the car park and bus station include:
· A vehicle management system which consists of electronic signs and lights showing available parking spaces, reducing vehicle movements and congestion
· An installation of 720 solar panels on the roof, providing renewable electrical energy to power the car park and bus station
· Sensor controlled ventilation system which adapts with the car park ventilation requirements, removing harmful fumes
· Highly intelligent and energy efficient lighting
· Energy Performance Certificate ‘A’ rated
· ‘A’ rated efficient boilers
· Use of highly recyclable materials, including steel, concrete and glass
· Use of long life and low maintenance materials for the deck coatings and bus station
Opposition councillors have questioned the decision to award schoolchildren's transport contracts to companies run by a former employee who was implicated in an explosive report about land deals at Sandwell Council.