A council worker who shared the address of a sex offender with paedophile hunters leading to a mob descending on his house was seen laughing and heading to the pub after she was spared a prison sentence.
Chloe Carr had been working as a Customer Services Assistant for Hull City Council when she sent the highly sensitive information to an online vigilante group, telling them he ‘deserves all he gets’.
Hull Crown Court was told a 30-strong group of people then arrived outside the house, who threatened to kill the man and burn down his home.
The 23-year-old, who tried to hide her involvement, was fined £500 last week for her actions, with a judge saying she had helped to ‘whip up a frenzy’ by illegally sharing the information.
Customer Services Assistant Chloe Carr sent the sensitive information to a vigilante group, which precipitated an angry mob turning up at the sex offender’s home
Now it has been reported she was seen laughing moments after leaving the court, before heading off to the pub.
The mother-of-one was in a celebratory mood after a judge told her she was ‘very lucky’ not to be facing more serious charges which would have seen her sent to prison, The Sun reports.
As she exited onto the street after the hearing, she was seen laughing and joking with two female supporters, with all three spotted walking into a pub over the road from the court building.
Earlier in the day the court had heard that Carr, who was pregnant at the time of the offence in July 2020, had branded the sex offender ‘disgusting’ when passing his address on.
The 23-year-old asked the paedophile hunters not to reveal that she had passed on the information
Carr asked the hunters not to reveal that she had passed on the confidential information in an effort to stop the leak being traced back to her.
The sex offender was moved to a new address, as the court heard that Carr’s actions helped to ‘whip up a frenzy’ and were ‘not a public service at all’ as they ‘destabilised’ convicted criminals and risked making them ‘unpredictable.’
Carr, of Taylor Avenue, Cottingham, admitted unlawfully disclosing private data to an online website without consent.
She denied a more serious charge of misconduct in a public office as a customer service advisor for Hull City Council by abusing the public’s trust and disclosing confidential and personal data between June 4 and July 2, 2020, and the charge was dropped.
Charlotte Baines, prosecuting, told the court that Carr was employed by an agency to work for the council to help direct people to assistance they may be able to access.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Carr was working from home in Anlaby, but was in a work chat group so that she could be in contact with her colleagues.
A colleague sent a message to the group stating that a call had been received from a convicted sex offender, who had reached out to the council’s customer services team to request a food parcel having being placed in emergency accommodation after his details were shared online.
The address was shared to the group chat and Carr sent the details onto a Hull-based anti-paedophile group, Hull Live reports.
She told the paedophile hunters she had details on the sex offender, but asked to be kept anonymous. She said in messages that it was ‘disgusting’ that the sex offender was still in Hull and would be living near a school.
When asked by the anti-paedophile group if she had proof of the sex offender’s address she said: ‘Yes, everything is 100 per cent’, and confirmed she had his street address.
She added that she worked for Hull City Council and sent a screenshot of the address, adding: ‘This can’t come back to me due to my work.’
When asked for the number of the house, she said it was ‘so wrong’ to put the man there and wrote: ‘I don’t believe in it. I will look now.’
She added: ‘Please don’t mention it’s come from the council’ because records were kept and it might ‘come back to me’ when told the details would be posted online.
Miss Bains told the court: ‘The defendant made it abundantly clear that she worked for Hull City Council and the information needed to be kept anonymous.’
At 18:40, the sex offender contacted police to say he had received a food parcel as requested from Hull City Council but that there were people at his door trying to break in.
He said he had been warned by around 30 people in a mob outside the house to ‘get out now or they would kill him and burn down the property.’
Hull Crown Court (pictured) was told police identified Carr and later seized two laptops from her home
At 19:19, the anti-paedophile group contacted Carr on Facebook Messenger to tell her the sex offender had been moved from the property.
She replied: ‘I am so happy. He is bloody awful. Happy to have helped everyone.’
Police later identified Carr as being involved in the chats, and went to her home and seized two laptops.
She told police she was angered when a colleague shared details of the sex offender because she was pregnant, and that someone in the group chat had said something needed to be done, prompting her to contact the anti-paedophile group.
‘She said that she knew it was wrong,’ Miss Baines told the court. ‘She was kicked out of the works chat. She wasn’t allowed to return to work, one assumes.’
Helen Chapman, mitigating, said the sex offenders Carr had been referring to were people who had been before the courts, had been found guilty or sentenced and had ‘done their time and come out’ of prison.
‘These groups exist on Facebook in order to whip up a frenzy,’ she told the court.
Carr was heavily pregnant at the time and the messages were exchanged just two weeks before she gave birth to her son in July 2020.
The offence was ‘short-lived but persistent’, and Carr was in ‘something of a vulnerable position’ at the time because the father of her child had left her, Miss Chapman added.
‘It didn’t help that she was working from home,’ she said.
Carr, who had no previous convictions, is now ‘just beginning to look for work,’ Miss Chapman added.
Judge Mark Bury said the offence may not have happened if Carr had been under a ‘little bit more supervision’ and if she had not been working from home.
The decision not to proceed with a prosecution under a more serious misconduct in public office offence had been taken after a ‘thorough review by a number of different people’ for the prosecution, meaning that Carr now faced the maximum penalty of a fine, and not a prison sentence.
Judge Bury told her she was ‘very lucky’ and said: ‘The offence that you have committed is, in my view, a very serious one that would have carried a sentence of imprisonment.’
He added he would have sent her to prison if found guilty of that offence.
‘They had done their punishment. It wasn’t for you to give their details out,’ he added.
‘The problem that this causes is that it destabilises offenders. It makes them unpredictable and more likely to commit offences that everyone else is trying their hardest to prevent them from doing. It’s not doing a public service at all. It’s a huge disservice.
‘I am quite satisfied that you knew what you were doing because you said you didn’t want your name to be mentioned because you would be sacked, which, of course, you were. I hope this has been a lesson.
‘If you work in the public sector again, you just have to remember that you have a grave responsibility with public details. You thought you were helping. You were not.’
Carr was fined £500 to be paid at £50 a month.