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Police arrest vigilante paedophile hunter

A man has been arrested in connection with the alleged attack
A man has been arrested in connection with the alleged attack

A vigilante paedophile hunter has been arrested in connection with attacks on men allegedly blackmailed over suspicions they attempted to meet up with underage girls.

The 25-year-old man from Wigan is being held by Greater Manchester Police on suspicion of assault and blackmail.

Detectives said two men suspected of being paedophiles by the vigilante group have also been arrested – one, a 25-year-old from Skelmersdale has been charged with attempting to meet a girl under 16 after grooming. He is due to appear before magistrates in Wigan tomorrow.

The second man, a 19-year-old, has been released on bail on suspicion of committing a similar offence.

Police said the first incident happened on Friday at around 9pm, when the 19-year-old man arranged to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl in a church car park in Atherton.

When he arrived he was filmed being attacked by a group of men who accused him of being a paedophile, and of having arranged to meet up with an underage girl.

The man managed to get away from the group, but later received messages demanding money and threats the group would upload the video of him on Facebook.

The following day the man reported the incident to the police and was subsequently arrested. He has been bailed pending further inquiries.

The second incident happened at 2.40pm yesterday when concerned shoppers witnessed the Skelmersdale man being beaten up by a group of people at Market Place in Wigan.

The group accused the man of arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl online. The man was attacked by one of the men in the group, and lost two of his teeth in the fight that ensued.

The rest of the group filmed the incident which has since been posted online. The man got away from the group and went to the police station to report the incident. He has subsequently been charged with the grooming offence, police said.

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