UPDATED: 31-year-old Laura Harding is to appear before the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court this morning (Friday) charged with 2 counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child following a sting by the well-known paedophile vigilante group ‘Guardians of the North’.
Ms Harding, of Hookes Way in Newport, was arrested at the beginning of November after ‘The Guardians’ conducted an undercover online sting. They travelled to the Island before alerting Police.
Following her arrest Hampshire Constabulary bailed Ms Harding, but have since charged her with the 2 offences. She is accused of communicating sexually – through text and pictures – with 2 people who she believed to be under the age of 16 for her own sexual gratification.
UPDATE @ 14:30 – Harding has been handed down a 6 month prison sentence – suspended for 12 months – after pleading guilty to 2 charges of engaging in sexual communication with a child.
The 31-year-old has been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register and has also been made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
A pre-sentence report, requested by Magistrates, looked into Ms Harding’s vulnerabilities.