(This article originally appeared on our website on February 21, 2019)
A SAILOR just weeks out of basic training was caught by a vigilante paedophile-hunting gang.
Royal Navy rating Kyle Catmull broke down in tears on a video recorded by TRAP in Fareham.
The 22-year-old, who was based at HMS Collingwood after completing his 10-week training in HMS Raleigh, Plymouth, was told by one of the group: 'You went from hero to villain in minutes.'
Grimsby-based Catmull thought he was meeting a 15-year-old girl.
But instead he ended up being filmed sitting on the ground with his head in his hands as the paedophile hunters who snared him quizzed him on why he swapped messages with the fake youngster.
Dressed in a smart grey suit AB Catmull appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court facing a charge of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.
He admitted the charge and will be sentenced on March 14.
Catmull, formerly of East Farm Lane, Fulstow, Louth, and care of HMS Collingwood in Fareham, must now sign the sex offenders' register until further order.
The video reveals an exchange with Catmull, who had been in the navy for 14 weeks before the sting on July 24, and the vigilante group.
TRAP: 'Are you in the navy?'
TRAP: 'Should you not know better?'
TRAP: 'As a representative of our country fighting, you would be a hero fighting for our country and doing what you do, yes?'
TRAP: 'You've now villainised yourself by doing it.'
Vigilante Stephen Dure, known as Stevie Trap, was jailed in September for 15 weeks, the BBC reported, after he admitted falsely accusing a man of grooming teenagers. Southampton magistrates jailed him after he admitted making an improper communication online.
A navy spokeswoman said: ‘As legal proceedings are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment.’