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Grandmother is now a convicted felon after outing a child sex predator

Grandmother is now a convicted felon after outing a child sex predator

She outed a local child predator online to warn her small, regional community and has copped the brunt of the law as a result.

A Queensland woman who outed a convicted child sex predator to her small regional community has copped a criminal conviction for her actions.

Calliope grandmother Maxine Davey was convicted of one count of unlawful stalking in Gladstone Magistrates Court last month.

The grandmother took matters into her own hands after 41-year-old Edward James Thomson returned to their Queensland community after serving only 12 months of his two year and nine months jail sentence.

Calliope grandmother Maxine Davey.
A Current Affair/Nine.

Thomson was convicted of a rape and multiple counts of indecent treatment of children under the age of 16.

He is now on a suspended sentence and moved back to Calliope, which has a population of under 5,000 people.

Davey, 59, who now relies on a disability support pension following her ongoing battles with breast cancer, told A Current Affair that she wanted to make local parents aware of the potential danger lurking in their small town.

"I just wanted to hold up a sign, publicise the fact that other parents (need) to be aware, but then I stepped over the line and broke the law," she told A Current Affair.

But Davey took her vigilantism one step further, filming Thomson's house and identifying vehicles in the yard.

She said she thought what she was doing was legal until police in Calliope seized her phone, which led to her charge of unlawful stalking.

"I was shocked, I was sorry. I didn't know at the time I'd broken the law, but obviously they told me," she said, as per Nine.

The 59-year-old fronted court with representation provided by Legal Aid.

A Current Affair/Nine.

She claims she was advised to plead guilty to the charge, which carried a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

"That just sent me into shock, like I got goosebumps now," she told A Current Affair.

"It scared me to think that it was a jailable offence that I'd committed."

She added: "It hurts, I'm really devastated by it all. I've never considered myself a criminal and I'll have this charge against me for the rest of my life."

Child protection advocate Hetty Johnson said that although Davey had acted to protect her community from the convicted paedophiles, people must not stray into vigilantism.

"Vigilantism doesn't actually stop offenders from offending," she said.

Johnson added that the 'community has no faith in rehabilitation of child sex offenders' and soft sentencing of them can result in reactions such as Davey's.

"Sadly the only way that we can know that an offender is not offending is if they're in jail," she added to A Current Affair.

Featured Image Credit: A Current Affair/Nine.

Topics: Australia, Crime