Photo by Tom Zytaruk

Former Surrey minor football coach convicted after 2017 Creep Catchers sting

John Darrell Lerfold, 65, is to set a date for sentencing on July 16 for telecommunicating to lure a child under 16

A former North Surrey Minor Football coach who was the subject of a Surrey Creep Catchers sting in 2017 has been found guilty of one count of telecommunicating to lure a child under the age 16.

John Darrell Lerfold, 65, is expected to appear in Surrey provincial court on Tuesday (July 16) to set a date for sentencing.

Ryan LaForge, president of the vigilante group now known as Safe Child Coalition, said this is “the precedent that we needed.”

“This is going to show that there’s a judge out there that sees it for what it is,” said LaForge.

homelessphoto

Ryan LaForge. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

The controversial citizen’s group has drawn fire from law authorities and academics for its efforts to weed out “potential predators” by posing as children online, arranging to meet adults who think they’ve been communicating with a child, confronting them, filming them and then posting the videos on Facebook.

Jean McPherson, president of North Surrey Minor Football, said Lerfold left the organization in 2014 under circumstances “unrelated” to this.

Lerfold was arrested after a Creep Catcher “sting” at Guildford Town Centre on Oct. 1, 2017, after he was confronted by the group.

“He fled so it was a citizens’ arrest case,” LaForge said.

READ ALSO: Surrey Creep Catchers prez ‘done with citizens arrests’ but not ‘stings’ after pleading guilty to assault

READ ALSO: Creep Catcher Surrey president undeterred by privacy complaint investigation

READ ALSO: Former Surrey cop Dario Devic gets four-month ‘jail sentence to be served in the community’

In Lerfold’s case, SCC posed as a ficticious 13-year-old girl, LaForge said.

“The set up was for at Walmart. I believe he took the bus there. He decided that he wanted to leave and then so I pursued him across 152nd over in behind the Starbucks in that little centre there and that’s where we waited for police.”

“Keep in mind that in the statute, child luring does come with a mandatory one year minimum sentencing. If the trial judge decides he’ll do five years, I’ll be even happier,” an elated LaForge told the Now-Leader.

“This is our justice system saying obviously what you’re doing, we found that this person is guilty of it so how many others are, you know what I mean?”

“There’s a bunch of open cases right now.”

According to Section 172.1 of Canada’s Criminal Code, governing internet luring, the Crown must prove an accused “believes” the person he or she was communicating with was a minor. A person found guilty of luring a minor on computer is “liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than ten years,” the code states.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey mayor dissolves public safety committee, creates one for police transition

Locke slams the move, saying who McCallum appoints to the committee will be ‘a very large tell’

Surrey lotto winner plans to spoil his kids

Attila Kelemen won $500K in the Daily Grand draw, held on July 8

Uphill battle for Cloverdale cyclist, 64, and her daughters in Cypress Challenge charity ride

Robyn Wells has lost both of her parents and two uncles to pancreatic cancer

South Surrey mom optimistic changes ahead for recovery homes

Maggie Plett met with Min. Judy Darcy Thursday

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

Most Read