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A justice group which exposed more than 150 paedophiles has folded following the “tragic” death of a co-founder.

Dark Justice was set up in 2014 by two friends using the aliases “Callum” and “Scott”.

The group polarised opinion, with some believing they operated outside the law – while others regarded the pair as heroes.

But it emerged on Saturday that Callum recently “lost his life in a tragic accident”, prompting Scott to disband Dark Justice.

A post on the group’s Facebook page said: “I have tried to think of a way to continue but sadly without my best friend I can’t see myself continuing.

“I would like to thank you all for the amazing support you have shown us over the last seven years and a thank you to all the other groups out there fighting for the rights of children.”

He added: “In the words of Callum “go get em lads!

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“Rest easy bro until we meet again”.

The group were thrust into the public eye due to filming confrontations with paedophiles who had come to meet their victims.

Many parents regarded them as heroes for ridding the streets of child abusers and putting scores of paedophiles behind bars.

Others viewed them as vigilantes, while police forces became increasingly critical of so-called “hunter” groups – fearing they could jeopardise official investigations.

But, while similar groups have been condemned for legally-dodgy actions such as live streaming confrontations, Dark Justice acted lawfully.

And they scored a major court victory in 2017 in the fight to continue to pursuing suspected paedophiles.

The case could have seen Dark Justice banned and over 100 perverts they’d help to convict walk free.

The case was brought by two defendants, who argued their undercover operations “diminished the integrity of the courts process”.

But a Newcastle Crown Court judge ruled the founders of Dark Justice had acted legally as private individuals.

ChronicleLive approached Scott for further comment over Callum’s passing, but he declined.

However, two other North East organisations – Guardian of the North and Geordie Chasers – has led tributes to “one of the best hunters we have ever had the pleasure of meeting”.

“We will forever treasure our memories of ‘Callum’ and he will always hold a place in our hearts,” posted the group on Facebook.

“Our thoughts are with his friends and family, we are truly heartbroken.”

And Geordie Chasers added: “You were and inspiration to many and saved so many kids with the outstanding work you did..”