Police turn tables on self-confessed pedophile hunter

Deanna Williams

An Adelaide man's crusade against alleged sex offenders has spectacularly backfired.

SA Police have turned the tables on a self-confessed 'pedophile hunter', arresting him on serious charges.

Using a fake profile, Rich Warner lured suspected pedophiles online, set up meetings, and then confronted them in person.

Rich Warner is a self-styled pedophile hunter. Source: 7 News

But now the hunter has become the hunted.

Police have charged him with aggravated assault and publishing the identity of a person charged with a sex offence.

Speaking to 7 News last week, he denied being a pedophile vigilante.

Warner said he was shocked at how many pedophiles responded to his online messages. Source: 7 News

"I was interested to see how many were out there and how many would respond, and I was shocked," he said.

The 42-year-old father was unrepentant when he posted a message to YouTube on Thursday.

"We will do everything we can to bust them in the future and are hopeful that the police will change their attitudes to our actions," he stated.

Wearing a mask, Warner posted a message to YouTube. Source: 7 News

Police say one person lured online by Warner has been charged with sex offences.

Despite his arrest, Warner has received plenty of support on social media.

"Should be given a medal, a handshake," one Facebook user wrote, while another said: "The man should be celebrated, not arrested."

Warner has received support on social media. Source: 7 News

However, police say the man's arrest serves as a warning to anyone who decides to take the law into their hands: they will prosecute.

"Pass on any information you have to police," Det Supt Mark Wieszyk said.

Warner has now been charged with serious offences. Source: 7 News

"Don't take this on board yourself."

Warner will face court in February.