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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows Cycle donates cycling glasses to staff at Royal Columbian Hospital

Owner, Rob Laluk, offered 26 pairs of the handy glasses free of charge

LETTER: Maple Ridge cyclist appreciative of strangers’ kindness

Thanks to the nurse and others who came to injured biker’s aid

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

BC institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates in Mission test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read