October 2016

100’s of child abuse images recovered from convicted paedophiles laptop

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A sex offender has been sent back to prison for trying to stop police finding out he had been accessing online images of child abuse.

Andrew Roocroft told officers he did not have a laptop when they visited his caravan near Tiverton but they found a Dell under his bed.

Experts were able to recover almost 800 images of children which he had deleted and found incriminating search terms in his internet history.

These showed he had been looking for images of young girls and of pre-teen boys having sex with adult women, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Roocroft was subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) at the time as a result of being caught with similar images in 2011.

He broke the order by not telling police he had the laptop and trying to hide it under his bed when they searched his home.

Roocroft, 35, of Collipriest, Tiverton, but currently at Channings Wood Prison, Newton Abbot, admitted three offences of making indecent images of children and four of breaching his SOPO.

He was jailed for three years by Recorder Mr Donald Tait, who told him: “You have breached the order in the past and it doesn’t seem you have learned your lesson.

“It is an aggravating feature that you sought to conceal this laptop from the police and there were a significant number of images accessed in a relatively short period of time.

“The probation report does not make happy reading. If confirms your ongoing sexual interest in young girls and that these offences occurred at a time when you were being monitored by the police.”

Francesca Whebell, for the prosecution, said police carried out a check on Roocroft in August last year as a result of other breaches of the SOPO which led to him being jailed for 18 months in November 2016.

His Dell laptop was found hidden under the bed and was sent to the police’s high tech crime unit. Their report only arrived after he was jailed in November and showed he had 794 images.

These included 120 in the worst category A, which shows children having sex with adults. All had been deleted and none could be accessed.

Search terms were also found including the words pre-teen and the abbreviation PTHC, which stands for pre-teen hard core. One search was for ‘PTHC women and boys’.

Miss Whebell said Roocroft broke four clauses in his SOPO by not telling police he had a computer and mobile phone, hiding the laptop, and using the internet to search for the images.

He told officers he had done so because ‘he didn’t want the police breathing down my neck’.

James Rickard, for the defence, said all these offences pre date Roocroft’s last sentence and may not have added very much to it if they had been known about at the time.

Roocroft would have been released from the last sentence in September but has stayed in prison after admitting these offences when interviewed by police while at Channings Wood, near Newton Abbot.

He said “He was living on his own and was incredibly isolated and wanting friendship. He was lonely. The prospect of being released frightens him.”

November 2015

Convicted paedophile jailed for befriending young mothers

A sex offender has been jailed after he flouted an order to stay away from children and befriended four young mothers.

Andrew Roocroft was not allowed any contact with anyone under 18 unless he told their parents or carers that he was a registered sex offender with a conviction for downloading internet images of serious abuse.

He ignored the terms of the Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) by befriending one family in Tiverton and starting relationships with three single mothers.

He met one of them through an online dating service and one of the mothers went to stay at his caravan with her eight-year-old daughter.

None of the families knew anything about his past and they were all horrified that he had gained access to the children, including babysitting on his own on at least three occasions.

He even spent Christmas with one of the mothers and her children without them knowing about his ban.

Roocroft, aged 34, of Collipriest, Tiverton, admitted four breaches of a SOPO and one of failing to comply with the sex offenders’ register and was jailed for two years by Judge Simon Carr at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge told him:”When you were caught with extremely serious images of children you were given a chance to address your offending in the community while subject to a strict SOPO.

“You were fully aware of the terms and that the purpose was to ensure that if you had any contact with anyone under 18 those responsible for their care must be told about your history.

“You simply chose to ignore that condition. I am sentencing you for four separate relationships with families, predominantly single women with children.

“You failed to tell them and as a result you had extensive unsupervised contact with children which would have stopped if you had told any of them about your offending.”

Mr Edward Bailey, prosecuting, said Roocroft was made subject of the SOPO in 2011 when he was convicted of possessing indecent images of children.

He had contact with the four families without telling them of his past. He stayed overnight with a single mother in Tiverton who had sons aged three and 17 and babysit on his own.

Mr Bailey said:”He stayed overnight two or three times a week when the children were present and at Christmas last year he stayed for a week. He babysat twice. In August he was pushing the three-year-old on a swing in a park in Tiverton and the matter came to the attention of the police.

“The mother was angry and felt let down and says she would not have permitted contact with her children if she knew of his conviction.”

The second contact came with a family who had known Roocroft for nine years but did not know he was a sex offender. They had two daughters aged three and four who he met frequently and babysat for twice.

He met the third mother through a dating website and she stayed at his caravan with her eight-year-old daughter, who he took to a bathroom in a neighbouring house on his own. They also went to a music festival in Somerset together.

The last offence involved a woman with two boys aged 12 and 14 who he knew through a mutual interest in Land Rovers. He shared the same hotel room as her and the boys at a Travel Lodge near Tiverton this summer