Council worker fined £500 after leaking sex offender's address to paedophile hunters

9 April 2022, 20:09

A council worker who leaked a sex offender's address to a paedophile hunter group has been fined
A council worker who leaked a sex offender's address to a paedophile hunter group has been fined. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A council worker who leaked a sex offender's address to a paedophile hunter group has been fined after a mob of 30 people flocked to the property and threatened to kill the offender.

The sex offender had been moved to a secret new address when a gang of paedophile hunters turned up at the emergency accommodation and made threats to kill him and burn the property down.

Hull Crown Court heard that customer services assistant Chloe Carr passed on highly sensitive information to a paedophile hunters Facebook group, after she discovered the offender was living "near to a school".

The council had received a request from the man asking for a food parcel having being placed in emergency accommodation after his details were shared online.

After discovering his address, 23-year-old contacted a paedophile hunter group on social media, calling the offender "bloody awful" and "disgusting" adding he "deserves all he gets".

The 23-year-old asked the hunters not to reveal how they found the offenders address saying: "This can't come back to me due to my work."

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The court was told that Carr's actions  helped to "whip up a frenzy" and should not been deemed as an act of public service as they "destabilised" convicted criminals.

Carr, from Cottingham, Yorkshire, admitted unlawfully disclosing private data to a website without consent - and was fined £500.

Helen Chapman, mitigating, said Carr was "something of a vulnerable position" at the time of the offence as the father of her child had left her. The defendant gave birth to her son two weeks later in July 2020.

Adding that Carr could have done with "a little bit more supervision" from her employers and that "it didn't help that she was working from home".

Carr had a change of misconduct in public office dropped.

Judge Bury said during sentencing: "You are very lucky about that. The offence that you have committed is, in my view, a very serious one that would have carried a sentence of imprisonment.

"I would have locked her up. This is not a public service at all.

"[The offender] had done their punishment. It wasn't for you to give their details out.

"The problem that this causes is that it destabilises offenders.

"It makes them unpredictable and more likely to commit offences that everyone else is trying their hardest to prevent them from doing."It's not doing a public service at all. It's a huge disservice.

"I am quite satisfied that you knew what you were doing because you said you didn't want your name to be mentioned because you would be sacked, which, of course, you were. I hope this has been a lesson. 

"If you work in the public sector again, you just have to remember that you have a grave responsibility with public details. You thought you were helping. You were not."

The mother of one will repay the fine in £50 instalments.