Halifax man finally jailed three years after being confronted by paedophile hunters

A 62-year-old Halifax man who was confronted by members of a paedophile hunting group has finally been jailed for his offending almost three years later.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 3:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 3:50 pm

Although Martin Limbert made admissions during his police interview back in June 2018 delays in examining his computer equipment meant he did not make his first court appearance until March this year.

Bradford Crown Court heard that no other indecent material had been found and solicitor advocate Andrew Walker said his client had been “in limbo” for three years waiting for this day to come.

Back in 2018 a member of Net Justice created a decoy profile of a 13-year-old girl and in April of that year Limbert, who was nearly 60, began chatting to the “girl” and sending her sexual photos and videos of himself.

Martin Limbert

The defendant, who had no previous convictions for sexual offences, told the “girl” he was 47 and continued to engage in sexual chat despite being told 12 times that she was only 13.

In the messages Limbert talked about her staying over at his home and being naked in bed with the “girl”.

He also tried to get her to touch herself sexually.

In June 2018 five or six members of the group went to Limbert’s home to confront him and prosecutor Chloe Hudson said the incident was streamed live on Facebook.

Limbert told the group he wasn’t going to deny it and he would “put his hands up”.

The police were contacted and after his arrest Limbert said he was guilty and regretted everything he had done.

In March this year Limbert, of Rose Mount, Halifax, pleaded guilty to attempting to communicate sexually with a child aged 13, attempting to cause a childhood watch a sexual act and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Today Judge Andrew Hatton jailed Limbert for two years, but he said he was troubled a great deal by the delay in the case although Miss Hudson explained that at the time the police log indicated that the queue for looking at computer devices was “very long”.

Although a supervisor was indicating that the the case should be prioritised there were further problems with “downloading” and in early 2020 the first Covid lockdown began.

“He has basically been in limbo for the last three years waiting for this day to arrive,” said Mr Walker.

“In the meantime his employment has been lost and his relationship has been lost and he’s very much become a very isolated individual.”

In addition to the two-year jail term Judge Hatton also made Limbert the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order which restricts his contact with under 16s.

Limbert will also have to sign on as a sex offender with the police for the next 10 years.