November 2016

Vile paedophile from Folkestone has been jailed for 24 years

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A judge has handed out a 30 year sentence to a Folkestone pensioner branded as a “wicked” paedophile who filmed his “grotesque” attacks.

Vile Leslie Girdlestone, a 71-year-old computer expert, had admitted 22 sex offences against five child victims.

A judge at Canterbury Crown Court heard how he used his expertise in computers to hide thousands of images he had also downloaded from the Internet’s “Dark” Web.

Now Girdlestone, of Cheriton Road, has been told he will be 87 years old before he can even apply for bail.

Judge Simon James jailed him for 24 years and then added an extra six years on licence if the dangerous sex offender is ever released.

Under sentencing rules, Girdlestone has to serve two-thirds of the main sentence before being eligible for release. 

But he will  only be released if the Parole Board consider he no longer poses a threat to children.

Police, who raided his home, discovered more than 500 hours of recordings of his sick acts on young children.

Judge James told him: “You seriously sexually abused and raped your victims, leaving them with serious and permanent effects.

“What makes your offending particularly grotesque was that you filmed many of these acts.”

Deborah Charles, prosecuting, told the court that he had also amassed a disturbing collection “ of the worse kind of child pornography” from the Internet , depicting degrading acts on very young children.

“It was, “ she added “the most serious of its type.”

The judge told him: “You have not shown any real insight or real remorse for your crimes, together with an abject lack of victim empathy and you are an individual; who poses a significant risk to children.”

After ordering Girdlestone to be taken downstairs to begin his sentence, the judge addressed the families of the victims, who sat in the public gallery.

He said: “It is impossible for me not to have been touched by the Victim Impact Statements from the victims and their parents and their sense of anger and concern.

“I fear there is nothing I can say to alleviate those perfectly understandable emotions.”

The judge added that they should know that “the only person in court who is guilty of these wicked crimes is the man I just sent to prison.”

The families also heard the judge tell them that their “love and fortitude” for the victims “shines out” and he hoped they could now concentrate on the future.