Former St John Ambulance volunteer was convicted of grooming child | #childabuse | #children | #kids

A former St John Ambulance volunteer, who previously worked with juvenile members in Cabinteely, south Dublin, pleaded guilty to grooming and attempting to meet a child for sexual activity in England two years ago.

Larry Shannon (58), a former long-time member of the voluntary paramedic organisation, was given a 12-month suspended sentence by a UK court in 2019.

Shannon, who died in early May, was a cadet superintendent working with youth members in the organisation’s Cabinteely division in the 1980s and 1990s.

He also helped draft St John Ambulance’s child protection policy in the 1990s, according to another individual involved in the process.

In a 2019 hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, England, the former volunteer pleaded guilty to grooming and attempting to meet a child under 16 years of age, with the intention of touching him sexually.

Shannon, who had moved to England in recent years, was caught in an online sting by a “paedophile hunter” group, the court heard.

Exchanged messages

The former St John Ambulance volunteer had messaged an account online belonging to someone claiming to be a 15-year-old boy.

Shannon exchanged messages and an indecent photograph with the account, before he arranged to meet what he believed to be a child at a McDonald’s. He was then arrested by police when he turned up at the meeting spot.

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