Father jailed after abusing his daughter – the story behind the conviction
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“Entering the family home was like letting off a bomb - and there was no going back.
“I’ve dealt with many difficult cases over the last 16 years of my service but this one almost certainly has given me sleepless nights.”
These are the words of a detective who for the last 12 months has been investigating the abuse of a young girl at the hands of her father.
Detective Constable Glen Reid (pictured) from the force’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) spoke after the defendant was sentenced to 15 years in prison at Leicester Crown Court today (Friday 18 October).
In October last year, officers executed a search warrant at a property in the Market Harborough area in relation to an investigation into the possession of indecent images of children.
A man was arrested and searches of the property were conducted with many devices being seized for further enquiries.
During searches at the property officers came across a camcorder tape which contained footage showing young girls being touched inappropriately and sexually abused.
Officers identified two of the three victims, who were now in their 20s, and interviewed them.
One of the victims, the defendant’s daughter, disclosed that she had been subjected to abuse by her father when she was seven years old and the incidents continued until she was 11 years old.
She never disclosed what had happened to her previously and the police attending the home address prompted her to finally speak out. The second victim identified herself from the footage.
Enquiries were also carried out to identify the third victim but she was not located. In respect of that victim the defendant pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child under the age of 13, but he refused to disclose the identity of the victim.
DC Reid said: “Before I joined POLIT I was a detective in the Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) for more than four years. I have investigated many cases where children have been subjected to abuse at the hands of people they knew and trusted, but this case has kept me awake at night.
“When we executed the warrant last October we didn’t expect to uncover a case of sexual abuse that happened within the family. We were acting on information received about indecent images being accessed online.
“We know whenever we enter a family home in these circumstances and a perpetrator is identified, that home will never be the same again. All too often family members are not aware of what’s been happening under their roof. The shock and disbelief people feel is overwhelming.
“In this case we uncovered a video recording of abuse on young girls, and one of those girls was the defendant’s daughter. She was abused for four years and, unbeknown to her, friends who came to the home address were also subjected to abuse at the hands of her father.
“This has been an extremely difficult year for the victim and her family. A lot of memories she had hidden away came to the surface. Speaking out was in no way easy for her, at the end of the day this was her father, a person she should have been able to trust.
“When we examined devices seized during the search of the property we found more than 1600 indecent images and videos of children. More than 1100 of them were Category A, the most serious of categories.
“This was a very complex case, we never expected to uncover what we did. We are pleased the defendant pleaded guilty to the offences and spared the victims the ordeal of giving evidence in court.
“From both a personal and professional front, these cases are never easy to investigate, that’s why it makes me all the more determined to get justice for victims who have suffered, at times, years of abuse.
“We know it’s not always easy to come forward, especially if the offences you have suffered were some time ago. Please be reassured that we can help and support you from the early stages of your report through to the legal proceedings. We can also put you in touch with many agencies who specialise in providing support and guidance to victims of abuse.
“You are not alone and we will help you. If you have been a victim of a sexual offence or know someone who has and it hasn’t been reported to the police, please do so.”
At a hearing last month the defendant pleaded guilty to 23 offences relating to sexual abuse and making and taking indecent images of children.
Detective Chief Inspector Reme Gibson is the head of the Digital Hub of which POLIT is one of the four units within the department. She said: “This case is just one of many the team deal with on a daily basis.
"What we thought was a case of indecent images of children turned into a lot more. The hub is made up of many experts, with years of knowledge and expertise.
"What they do makes a real difference to operational policing and this case demonstrates how crucial their work is.”