Pedophile Found Dead Following Vigilante Sting Operation
Child abuse snared by pedophile hunters, later found dead in his home
A pedophile who was snared by a group of vigilante "pedo hunters" has been found dead in his home shortly after the bust.
The gang, known as Soul Survivors, cornered 47-year-old Nigel Sheratt during an undercover sting operation, where the target believed he was meeting up with a 14-year-old girl he had "groomed" online.
Unbeknown to Sheratt, the child he was sending "sexually explicit" messages to on Facebook was actually a member of the vigilante crew who was posing as a child to entrap pedophiles.
After capturing Sheratt, he was handed over to local police offers who led him away in a police car.
According to reports, Sheratt was taken home by law enforcement after leaving the scene, and it's unclear if they were pursuing any criminal proceedings against him.
According to the Daily Mail, the body of Nigel Sheratt, 47, was found at a house in Cannock, Staffordshire, on Sunday, just two days after he was stopped by members of vigilante group Soul Survivors while in his car.
The group said they had posed as a 14-year-old girl in Facebook chats with Mr. Sheratt and claimed he had tried to groom her.
Members also confronted him with printouts of messages that contained sexually explicit language.
Speaking from Mr. Sheratt's home, a relative said they found him dead on Sunday and denied the accusations against him, claiming there was 'no investigation' against him.
Although the video ends with Mr. Sheratt being taken to a police car, it is unclear if police had started any action against him.
Writing on Facebook after his death, the group claimed he had 'taken his own life'
Mr. Sheratt denied any wrongdoing throughout the video but eventually admitted talking to the 'girl' on Facebook, claiming he did not know she was 14.
While presenting him with the print out of messages, one of the hunters said to him: 'It's all there. It says "Hi, I'm Ellie, I'm 14, I have nothing to do; I'm bored."
'We are happy for you to sit there and deny it because we have it all there in proof.'
Another member of the group asked if he was 'embarrassed' by the situation and added: 'You are not embarrassed that you spoke to a 14-year-old girl? You make me sick.'
After initially denying any contact with 'Ellie', Mr. Sheratt told the group he did speak to her but 'thought she was a woman.'
He added: 'I've done nothing wrong.'
The video ends with police arriving and speaking to the group and Mr. Sheratt, who is seen getting out of his vehicle and walking off with the officers as the footage ends.
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: 'Staffordshire Police were called to a house on Ascot Drive, Cannock at around 1:40 pm on Sunday 5 August where sadly the body of a man was found.
'We are not treating the death as suspicious at this time.
'The death has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct due to the previous contact between police and the deceased.'
Writing on Facebook after learning of his death, Soul Survivors said:
'We’ve had confirmation that Nigel Sheratt from Cannock, unfortunately, has taken his own life.
'In what we do this is not an outcome that we look to achieve and only aim to put it into the hands of the police.
'We have seen some angry comments but all we want is for justice to be served... Our hearts go out too (sic) his family this is awful news for us as a team.'
The group said it had no comment when contacted by MailOnline.
Some social media users came to Mr. Sheratt's defense and criticised the group for its sting.
One Facebook user said: 'This mans soul is no longer surviving, at the hands of rookies and the live sting. Pointless publishing a status now full of heartfelt s***. It’s too LATE !!!!'
Another said: 'I think it's disgusting what these guys did and the way they spoke to him I have known Nigel and his family all my life and he wasn't an idiot or a nonse (sic) as these guys called him he actually had learning issues and he spoke like that all the time.
'If Nigel is named a pedophile what does that make the person who added Nigel to start with as what I saw on the video the so-called girl spoke to him first? RIP Nigel.'
It is unclear whether Staffordshire Police was taking any action against Mr. Sheratt in relation to the sting.
The force was approached for comment.