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

Young musicians get chance to win opening act spot at Chilliwack Fair

Three finalists will vie for top spot at the Fair’s Saturday night show

Getting a new ‘Gig’ easier with new innovative program in Chilliwack

Program will take 12 young adults and help them prepare for their career path

VIDEO: Bloodhounds join the search for missing Chilliwack woman

Petsearchers Canada arrive in town Monday afternoon to help out

‘No little nook and cranny that’s too small’ in search for Chilliwack woman, say RCMP

Residents urged by police to assist in search for Grace Baranyk by checking property thoroughly

Search continues for missing elderly woman in Chilliwack

RCMP, Chilliwack Search and Rescue and community members combing area for Grace Baranyk

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

B.C. Ferries cancels two sailings Monday due to mechanical issues

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay run affected in order to repair Queen of New Westminster

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Nine kittens and cats rescued after being locked in bins in northern B.C.: SPCA

SPCA says cats were starving, and matted with feces and urine

Woman grabbed, followed on trail near SFU campus: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told police a man was following and tried to talk to her

Most Read