November 2016

Transgender woman from Wells tried to get photos developed of naked 10-year-old girl

nicola

A transgender woman and convicted paedophile who was caught trying to get photographs of a posing, naked 10-year-old girl developed at a Wells photographic shop has been committed to Taunton Crown Court for sentence.

Transgender Nicola Florida served a long prison sentence for convictions of sexual assaults and rapes committed against children and possessing indecent images when she was formerly living as a man.

Following her release from custody, and now living as a woman, she was arrested after taking a film to a photographic shop to be developed containing images of a naked 10-year-old girl.

Florida, 50, of Johnsons Close, Wells, was brought before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil in custody and pleaded guilty to breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

The charge stated that on November 14 she did something, namely that she was in possession of photographic equipment and naked pictures of a child under the age of 16, which she was prohibited from doing so by the order made at Taunton Crown Court on November 29, 2007.

The court was told that the SOPO included various prohibitions including being in possession of a camera or other recording device and being in possession of photographs of children, or taking photographs of children under the age of 16.

ross

Pictured: The paedophile carried out the sex attacks while living as a man named Ross

Prosecutor Emma Lenanton said that Florida attended DH James Photography on November 8 and handed over a strip of negatives containing four pictures to a member of staff to be developed in a 16 inch x 4 inch size.

“She gave contact details and a name and agreed that the photos would be collected the following day,” she said.

“The staff member saw they contained four photos of a young girl, aged about 10, and in his opinion she seemed to be posing for the camera and was completely naked. He felt uncomfortable about the situation and contacted the police.”

Officers attended Florida’s address and she was arrested for the offence and a search of her home was conducted. They found a 35mm camera and three further photos of a young girl matching the description of the ones that had been taken to the shop.

A Kodak film was found on the living room windowsill and in her bedroom they found a digital camera along with two more cameras in some drawers.

Miss Lenanton said: “There should be no misunderstanding of the order that was imposed for very serious offences and there should be no doubt how important it was to adhere to those prohibitions.

“Also, because of the number of cameras found, and the fact that she was wanting to print the photos, is particularly serious.”

Defending, Nigel Yeo said that Florida was released from prison in May 2015 following a very long custodial sentence and after spending six months in a bail hostel was now living in Wells.

He said that before receiving her sentence the defendant had been a semi-professional photographer and had acquired a significant amount of photographic equipment and paraphernalia.

Since her release her elderly father had been helping her to sort out her possessions and the photographs and negatives seized by the police were found in a box which he had brought over to her, and had been taken before she went to prison.

“She found some photos in a wallet which had been taken when she was an extra in a film with her fellow actors and thought that the other negatives were going to be similar photos as well,” he said.

“She didn’t look at the negatives in great details as if she had, it was highly unlikely she would have taken them to a photographic shop in Wells and given them her name and address.

“The police then searched her home and found two or three photos of the girl on the film and my client accepts it was one of the victims for which she was sent to prison for and were taken after 2001.”

He said that Florida was aware of one of the cameras but had not used it for many years and did not think it was in working order.

“She was proposing giving it back to her father when he next visited and has no recollection of the other cameras and knows she should have been far more careful in relation to items coming into her home, and going through them much more carefully,” he said.

Mr Yeo said that Florida had complied with her sex offender’s notification requirements and changed her name to her current one in 2012 while in prison and had been living her life as a woman ever since.

“She has taken some medical advice and has two appointments arranged later this month at a gender identity clinic in London and is hoping she will be able to start on the course of hormones which will be the first steps in achieving a gender reassignment,” he said.

“She then hopes this will lead to surgical reassignment but at the moment she is living her life as a woman 10% of the time.”

He added that Florida had also been prescribed anti-depressants and lived a fairly lonely existence.

The magistrates said that offence was so serious that Florida must be sent to Taunton Crown Court to be sentenced .

They adjourned the case until December 16 and in the meantime released her on unconditional bail.