May 2013

Jail for sex offender, found with images of child sex abuse


Moving his mother’s’s van proved costly for sexual deviant Richard Ford.

He was banned from driving at the time when police officers spotted him at the wheel of his mother’s van.

But when he was arrested, it was discovered that Ford, of New Road, Croxley Green, had been involved in much more sinister activities.

St Albans Crown Court heard on Wednesday that when he was pulled up by the officers he was already a registered sex offender.

Twice before he had been convicted of making and possessing indecent images of children.

And as a result of those court convictions in September 2009 and May 2012, he has been made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Part of the conditions of the order meant he was prevented from owning a mobile phone or laptop that could access the internet without software being present to show his website activity.

And when police examined a mobile phone found in the van and later a laptop at his home, it was discovered Ford had been unable to resist downloading and storing depraved images of youngsters being raped and sexually abused.

He had also downloaded sickening pictures of acts of bestiality.

As a result, the 42-year-old appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to three offences of breaching a sexual offences prevention order, possessing extreme pornographic images, two offences of possessing indecent photos of a child and driving while disqualified on February 19 this year.

Judge John Plumstead jailed Ford for four and a half years and said he would remain on licence for six years because of the seriousness of his offending.

The court heard that when Ford was spotted driving, he was moving the car which belonged to his mum who was away on holiday.

The court was told that on one of two mobiles found in a jacket in the van, police found a folder entitled “kids”.

When opened, it was found to contain indecent images of young girls.

Hertfordshire Police‘s High Tech Crime Unit were called in and they found more obscene images.

The judge was told Ford had a long record going back to 1991, which included convictions for theft, assault, drink driving, child cruelty, possessing indecent images and breaching a restraining order.

Judge Plumstead said there were “disquieting features” to the case and he said the defendant had inflicted acts of cruelty on two young children.

The judge said that there was evidence that Ford had also been seeking relationships with women with small children.

But the judge said he had also spurned efforts to help him stop his internet offending and still didn’t accept that what he was doing was wrong.

“The trouble with this man is that he won’t stop,” said the judge, who said he had concluded that Ford was a danger to the public and a risk to children.

The judge told Ford he was passing an “extended sentence” of ten-and-a-half years where the custodial element of the sentence was four and half years and the period he would spend on licence after his release was six years.

In addition he was disqualified from driving for four months and made the subject of a further Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

March 2012

Sex offender jailed for breaking court order

A man jailed for viewing child pornography broke a court order after his release by spending nights with a woman he had met via internet dating.

Richard Ford, 40, was jailed for four months in September 2009 after 1,563 indecent images of children were found on his computer.

As part of the sentence the court made various orders restricting his contact and work with children. He also had to register as a sex offender and notify any address other than his home where he stayed for more than seven nights in any year.

Edward Lewis for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), told Luton Crown Court on Tuesday, 06 March 2012: “It came to light that he began a relationship with a somewhat vulnerable mother of two who lived in Bushey.

“He stayed at her address between 09 December last year and 06 January this year except for six days over Christmas, and failed to notify the authorities.”

Ford, of New Road, Croxley Green, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with notification requirements, an offence for which the maximum sentence is five-years.

David Smithet, defending said Ford had fully complied with all orders for the two-years since his release from prison.

“He met a lady through on-line dating and he made it clear to her that he had previous convictions and what they were about.

“Her children were never at the house when he was there and there is no suggestion that anything untoward happened,” said the lawyer.

Judge Barbara Mensah jailed Ford for six-months and told him he was still subject to the same restrictions on his release, and he must also have no contact with the woman.

“I take the view this is a serious breach of the order. The whole purpose of these orders is to protect the public. The consequences could have been serious,” said the Judge.

September 2009

Pervert blamed child sexual abuse images on son

A father-of-two convicted of possessing more than a thousand indecent images of children said he admitted the offences to protect his teenage son.

Richard ford , 38, was reported by a colleague he gave a lift when sickening pictures of children fell out of a folder he had in the car.

Police raided Ford’s home in New Road, Croxley Green in September 2007 where they uncovered numerous indecent images on a computer and that had been printed off. They also found what the judge called “disturbing” adult pornography.

Ford confessed to police and pleaded guilty to nine counts of making indecent images of children and one of possession of indecent images.

However, during an interview with probation to compile a report before sentence Ford said he was trying to protect his teenage son from prosecution.

Before these offences he was prohibited from unsupervised contact with either his son or daughter after convictions in 2004 for assaults on them.

Ford was jailed for 25 months after kicking his daughter in the stomach and making his son, aged ten at the time, stand in a cold room for a long period of time and punching him in the face.

He has convictions for 11 previous offences, going back to when he was a young

He was jailed for 18 months in a young offenders institution aged 20 and has previous convictions for assault police and public order offences, failing to provide a specimen of breath and drink driving.

Ford was a delivery driver until he lost his licence again this year for drink driving.

David Chrimes, prosecuting, said: “One year later in another interview he appeared to make full and frank admissions, but disputed the age of the children, which we say the vast majority are girls, aged between 13 and 16.

“He accepted his interest was in teenage girls but said they appeared to be 18. But the crown has categorised the pictures where clearly the girls are under 18.”

Shiraz Aziz, defending, said Ford was “subjected to pornography” from a young age and that may have “influenced his conduct”.

Mr Aziz said Ford, who lives with his mother and step father, was abused by his father as a child and asked the court to suspend any custodial sentence or make it as short as possible.

Judge Michael Baker jailed Ford for a total of 16 weeks, of which he will serve half.

Judge Baker said: “Had your guilty pleas been backed with remorse and recognition you had a problem that required treatment, an alternative to a custodial sentence would be carefully considered.

“But in the PSR (pre sentence report) you laid the blame for your actions on your son and claimed to be protecting him by your pleas of guilty.

“You have a number of previous convictions for violent offending, including against your own children.

“Also disturbingly is the nature of the adult pornography found on the premises, but I make the point you are not being sentenced on that.

“I find no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence.”

Ford was banned from working with children and must sign the sex offenders register for five years.

He received a further order prohibiting unsupervised contact with any child under 16.

Judge Baker said: “I regard the order necessary to prevent serious sexual harm.”