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Ipswich vigilante paedophile hunter admits blackmail

PUBLISHED: 16:49 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:49 19 July 2018

A hearing will be held at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

A hearing will be held at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

A vigilante paedophile hunter who arranged to meet a man at Ipswich railway station after posing on-line as a 14-year-old girl had a discussion with him about money, a court has heard.

Posing as a schoolgirl called “Lily”, Mateusz Rugala communicated with the man for several weeks before the “honey trap” meeting at the station in February last year, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Rugala, who took his friend Przermek Nowakowski as “backup”, filmed the meeting with the man, said Phillip Farr, prosecuting.

He said that after confronting the man who was expecting to meet “Lily” the conversation had turned to him being asked how he proposed to “recompense” for what he had done.

Mr Farr said the man had taken £25 from his wallet and was told by Rugala: “You think £25 will pay for this. Are you serious?” said Mr Farr.

He said that Rugala and Nowakowski were both physically intimidating towards the man and placed themselves by his car preventing him from shutting the door and threatened to call the police.

Two civilian employees of Suffolk police saw what was happening and intervened and took the details of all three men and called the police, said Mr Farr.

Rugala provided officers with the footage he had recorded of the incident including the references to money and he was subsequently charged with blackmail.

He told officers he had told Nowakowski on the morning of the meeting what he was doing and he had agreed to come along as backup.

The court heard that no action was taken against the unnamed man who was confronted by Rugala and Nowakowski at the station.

Rugala, 22, of Wiilloughby Road, Ipswich admitted blackmail and Nowakowski, 26, of Yarmouth Road, Ipswich admitted using threatening behaviour.

Judge Emma Peters adjourned sentence on Rugala, who also admitted an offence of threatening behaviour, until August 29 to allow up-to-date medical reports to be obtained on him.

Nowakowski was given a 12 month community order, 140 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs.

Hugh Vass for Rugala said the subject of money wasn’t brought up by his client and he said the offence of blackmail wasn’t premeditated.

Steven Dyble for Nowakowski said his client had agreed to go along with Rugala after a chance meeting between them.

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