`

Olympic torch hero exposed as a sexual predator

Paul Drake
Paul Drake

A man who carried the Olympic torch through Scarborough in 2012 is facing jail after being exposed as a sexual predator.

Paul Anthony Drake, 53, was arrested at Scarborough Railway Station where he had planned to meet a 14-year-old “girl”, York Crown Court heard.

In fact, the “teenager” he had tried to groom online turned out to be a “paedophile hunter group” who set a trap for Drake and lured him into a false hook-up.

Waiting for him outside the train station were members of the vigilante group who reported Drake to police. He was arrested just before midday on March 24 and taken in for questioning.

Drake, of Milton Avenue, was charged with attempted sexual communication with a child under 16 years of age between March 10 and 25, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity between the same dates, and attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

It is said that Drake travelled to meet the “child” on at least two occasions leading up to his arrest in March.

He appeared in court on Monday when he admitted all three charges, but sentencing was adjourned for probation reports.

David Camidge, for Drake, said his client had lost his job because of the offences he had admitted.
“He has referred himself for counselling arising from this matter,” added Mr Camidge.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told Drake he faced a jail sentence for “significant and serious offences”.

Drake will be sentenced on May 29 and was given conditional bail until that date. He will be made to sign on the sex-offenders’ register in the meantime.

Before the court case, police issued a statement confirming they had been contacted by the “paedophile hunter group” before Drake’s arrest. A spokesman said: “So-called paedophile hunters are taking risks they do not understand and which can undermine police investigations.”

Drake was picked to carry the torch in 2012 for his charity work.