A SELF-STYLED ‘Paedophile Hunter’, who poses online as a youngster in order to ensnare ‘sexual predators’ up and down the country, has been told by Lancashire Constabulary that his undercover stings must stop.

But Stinson Hunter, whose evidence was used to convict Accrington teacher David Simpson, said he felt he had been lured into a trap himself by the police force and it had previously encouraged his behaviour.

Stinson, who lives in Nuneaton, said: “I received an email from Julie Cross at Lancashire Constabulary that said ‘we would like to meet you to work together on future sting operations’.

“But when I arrived at the station, I was ambushed.

“There is nothing illegal about what I am doing and Lancashire Police are happy enough to use my evidence so I don’t see what the problem is.

“I had a good working relationship with Lancs police and was regularly in touch with one of their officers in particular who told me that I was doing a good job.”

Stinson said that he felt ‘fully supported’ by most police forces during the filming of a soon-to-be-screened Channel 4 documentary about him, but now that the filming was over they had changed their attitude towards him.

He added: “Now all of a sudden they’re saying what I’m doing is dangerous and I shouldn’t be doing it.”

The force said the email, seen by the Lancashire Telegraph, was sent during the investigation into Simpson.

In December, the 49-year-old was found guilty of attempting to meet a girl under 16, intending to commit a relevant offence, by a Burnley Crown Court jury after a five-day trial.

While the email does invite Stinson to ‘discuss any future sting operations that you are thinking of conducting in the Lancashire area’ it does not state their willingness to work in partnership.

Lancashire Constabulary said in a statement: “Lancashire Constabulary in no way supports, or condones Stinson’s methods. Indeed we consider that the methods he uses can place individuals at risk, as well as causing substantial evidential difficulties. Such activities may compromise ongoing investigations.”