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Who is the real Stinson Hunter?: Kieren Parsons

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Last night on Channel 4, viewers were brought into the world of Stinson Hunter otherwise known as The Paedophile Hunter. Hunter is a self-proclaimed vigilante who poses as a young child online in a bid to lure and trap prospective paedophile's from the UK.

He is not your typical vigilante, however, and he does not intend to dish out his own brand of justice. Instead, Hunter meets would-be paedophiles and films the meetings. He then passes on the footage to local police members in a bid to see them reprimanded by the law for crimes they were willing to commit. He also claims that so far police have been very grateful for the information that he has provided them.

The documentary split people right down the middle with some viewers disgusted with the way he is destroying the lives of those filmed while others are applauding his brave efforts to tackle a real world problem in a proactive way. Hunter has defended his actions by saying that he and his friends never "instigate" any of the meetings but only respond to inquiries from lurkers. He also said "I wanted to raise awareness, to open people’s eyes and get people talking and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that."

But who is the man himself? His real name is Kieren Parsons and he is 32 years of age from Warwickshire. He was convicted of arson when he was just 17 years of age after starting a fire in the cloakroom of a school building. Parsons served 10 years in prison for the crime and has been repentant about the act ever since saying "I was 17 then and I’m 32 now, I’ve changed. I have grown up a lot, it was just an act of stupidity."

Parsons has said in the past that he was really s. where journalists pose as children in order to expose child groomers. Along with some of his closest friends, Parsons has been working on trapping paedophiles for almost 4 years now and they try to record each and every encounter. They have built up quite a collection of evidence of people they meet and the situations that they were willing to put themselves in.

Parsons has also begun looking for funding through Kickstarter to continue exposing paedophiles throughout the nation. On the Kickstarter page, Hunter declares "It's time for a change, no more ignorance of the subjects that really hit home. This is an age of tolerance, when it should be time to expose the shocking truth of what’s happening right on your doorstep."

Funds exceeding £15,000 have been raised since last night's documentary aired, exceeding Parsons' goal of £10,000 by a significant amount. It shows that there are plenty of people who support his unorthodox method of exposing paedophiles. As of now, his long term plans are somewhat vague but according to the Kickstarter page could include an online campaign to educate youths to be more weary, more documentary projects and/or a feature length film on such an important issue.

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