Paedophile snared in Falkirk Wolfpack sting operation

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A Ukrainian paedophile is facing jail time after he was caught at Glasgow Central Station waiting for what he thought was a young schoolgirl.

Oleksandr Novikov (34) went to the terminus after falling into a trap set by online anti-grooming group Wolfpack Hunters UK.

Novikov, reportedly in Scotland working as a “carer”, had chatted online with someone he believed was “Megan”, a 14-year-old girl.

Megan was in fact an adult female from Falkirk who had lent Wolfpack Hunters pictures of herself as a young teen to use in a “decoy” sting.

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The group created a profile of her as “Megan” on social networking service MeetMe.

At Falkirk Sheriff Court yesterday, procurator fiscal depute Michael Maguire said the woman then waited for “interaction”.

She was contacted by Novikov, who was calling himself “Alex Glasgow, an easy going and open-minded guy”, and repeatedly told him she was 14.

After initially telling her she looked “really sweet”, Novikov’s messaging became “sexualised” despite the warnings about her age, the court heard.

He asked her if she liked “older guys”, told her “you really make me excited”, asked “wanna meet up for some fun?”, and suggested he would like to perform oral sex on her.

Mr Maguire said: “The sexualised conversation is one-sided by him. The conversations continued over a period of time from January 4 to January 16. It was agreed the accused would meet her at Glasgow Central Station.”

At 3.30pm the next day, January 17, the decoy, accompanied by two adult males from Wolfpack Hunters, went to the station, saw the accused, and recognised him from his pictures on the app.

Mr Maguire said: “They approached him, and began to film him using a mobile phone. They challenged him about the conversations and he said he knew what he was doing was wrong.”

Police were called, and Novikov, described as “fully co-operative” waited 20 minutes at Waterloo Lane, near the station, with members of the Wolfpack Hunters group, for officers to arrive.

He was detained, cautioned and told police: “Needs to be done.”

His mobile phone was seized.

Novikov, of Paisley Road West, Glasgow, pled guilty to sending messages of a sexual nature to a person he believed to be under 14, and travelling to meet a girl he believed to be under the age of consent with the intention of engaging in sexual activity.

Adjourning the case for reports, Sheriff John Mundy told the fiscal he wanted “further information” about the organisation Wolfpack Hunters before sentencing Novikov on November 29.

Novikov was released on bail in the meantime, and placed on the sex offenders’ register.