A trans-identified male who was repeatedly caught attempting to sexually abuse children has now been sentenced to 4 years in prison thanks to the efforts of volunteer predator hunters. Danielle Edney, 30, pleaded guilty in Lewes Crown Court on July 28 after being arrested following his second time being caught in a predator sting.
Edney, who sometimes goes by the name “Ariana Grande,” was first caught in May of 2022 while attempting to meet who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl for sexual abuse. The child was a decoy account managed by the predator hunting team Secretly Tracking Online Predators (STOP) Stings.
STOP revealed that Edney had told the decoy posing as a 13-year-old to “pack an overnight bag and bring her school uniform and bikini.” He also reportedly instructed the girl to visit a sexual health clinic for condoms prior to the meeting and spoke of using restraints on her. At the intended meet-up spot, Edney was confronted by the pedophile hunters who then passed the evidence over to police.
Months later, Edney was caught yet again in an unrelated sting while attempting to meet a 14-year-old girl for sexual abuse.
While Edney believed he was communicating with a child, the account was in fact another decoy, this time managed by the Predators Exposed Sting Team (PEST). The group was initially unaware of Edney’s past criminal history.
Steve, a team member at PEST, told Reduxx that he only learned that Edney was a re-offender when he came across the video of the first sting online.
“When I was initially investigating Danielle Edney, I had no idea he had previously been stung and reported to the police by another voluntary team until 72 hours before my sting operation,” Steve explained. “I came across some information online during my research on the build up to the interception of Danielle and found video footage on Facebook and YouTube of Danielle’s first sting.”
During the second sting, when asked why he pursued children for sex, Edney repeatedly insisted that he had “uncontrollable sexual urges.” He stated he had never had sexual relations before, and consumed pornography as well as used sex toys to address his desires.
“Because I’ve not had sex in my entire life because I’ve not had what you guys have got which is a proper relationship,” Edney told PEST hunters Stacey and Steve, who noted that he had told the child he wanted to “impregnate” her.
After his arrest by Sussex Police, Edney was evaluated by mental health professionals who determined he had minor learning disabilities but agreed that he was a danger to children.
Speaking to Reduxx, Steve from PEST revealed that he had been asked to testify against Edney, but ultimately was not required to after the pedophile pleaded guilty to the charges against him. Steve explained this was a common occurrence, with the predators often admitting to the charges after being faced with the high-quality evidence his team provides law enforcement.
“I have never actually walked in to a court room to give evidence on any case I have put forward towards the courts. I am always asked if I can attend to give evidence, and I agree every time to follow my cases through to the end. I have even travelled across the UK and got as far as the steps at the court house before. But they always inform me I am no longer required and that the defendant has changed their plea to guilty following the evidence presented to the courts from my team,” Steve says.
Thanks to the work of the predator hunters involved, Edney was sentenced to 4 years in prison at Lewes Crown Court on July 28. He also has an indefinite term on the sex offender’s register, an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, and will have to pay a £228 (approx. $400 USD) surcharge to the Court Charities. Upon release, Edney will also be banned from wearing any kind of high-visibility vest as he had abused such garments in the past to impersonate police officers.
Edney will reportedly be serving his sentence in a male prison.
Steve of PEST expressed some disappointment at the sentence as he believes it was too lenient and that the predator hunters will see Edney back online in a matter of a few short years. He also encouraged parents to keep an eye on the digital whereabouts of their kids so that they won’t fall into the hands of a predator.
“Safeguarding starts at home. Check your children’s devices,” Steve told Reduxx.
According to his Facebook profile, Edney is the founder of “Transgender Trust.” Edney previously attempted to crowdfund £13,000 for his “charity” but failed to raise any money whatsoever. In the crowd funder description he described Transgender Trust as a “charity” and himself as the “charity’s director.” Transgender Trust never appears to have been registered with the UK’s charity commission.
Reduxx also learned that following his arrest, Edney established a profile on an LGBTQ dating site in which he used his mugshot as a selfie.
“My name is Miss Danielle Louise, and I am a transgender woman who is making a gradual transition from male to female. I am extremely strict, honest, faithful, and friendly and polite young lady,” Edney wrote in his biography.
“I am looking for a woman who will love me for the way I am and not who they want me to be and I am looking for someone who loves the same things that I do and supports the LGBTQ community.”
Edney noted that his partner’s preferred age was “18-19,” the lowest possible age range allowed by the site.