July 2017

Paedophile jailed for historic sex offences against 7-year-old girl


A predatory paedophile went on to abuse another youngster after police and social services failed to act when he repeatedly assaulted a seven-year-old girl, a court heard.

David Grant, 66, forced the girl to engage in vile sex acts between 1985 and 1990, Basildon Crown Court was told.

Brett Weaver, prosecuting, said the abuse was uncovered in 1990 when the girl told her mother and showed her drawings she made depicting the acts.

Her GP was informed and he called in police and social services, but no action was taken because the girl feared going to court. Grant continued to have access to the child, although no further abuse took place.

Grant, of St Helen’s Road, Westcliff, was jailed for six years in February for carrying out a campaign of sexual abuse against another youngster between 2012 and 2016.

The Echo told at the time how Grant, nicknamed “Totty”, went on sex tourism trips to Thailand and took covert photos of children on the beach.

Grant appeared via videolink to admit two counts of sexual assault and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Each count covered multiple occasions.

Mr Weaver said: “They came to light following the victim reading a newspaper article covering the other allegations. As a result of reading that article and discussions with her family she reported the allegations in November last year.”

Mr Weaver described how the girl told her mother and showed the drawings to her doctor. He said: “At that time police and social services became involved. The victim reluctantly spoke to the police. She felt it was easier if she didn’t proceed with the allegation at that time. No further incidents took place.”

Mr Weaver read a victim impact statement in which the woman said she is “struggling with anxiety” and is “withdrawn”.

She said: “Totty has affected my life so much by abusing me. This has been so hard for me to write but I want him to know what he has done to me.”

Mr Weaver added: “She began to binge drink. At the age of 17 she progressed to substance abuse.

“She goes on to say that she has had unhealthy relationships with men who were physically and emotionally abusive towards her.”

Judge David Pugh said if the charges had been admitted at the time of the February sentencing he would have handed Grant a total sentence of ten years.

He told him: “It’s clear that this has had a significant effect on the victim. She has suffered from anxiety and self-harm and it has affected her relationships. I am satisfied that you present a significant risk of harm to children by committing further offences.”

He handed Grant a total of four years for the new offences, to run consecutively to the six year sentence. He will also be subject to an extended five year licence period when released.

February 2017

Sex tourist branded an ‘evil predator’

AN “evil predator” who secretly filmed himself abusing a young girl in between sex tourism trips to Thailand has been jailed for six years.

David Grant, 66, of St Helen’s Road, Westcliff, carried out a two-year campaign of sexual abuse even after he was arrested and bailed for possession of child pornography.

As well as videos of his victim, police found images of other children and “covert” photographs of youngsters taken while the paedophile was on one of his frequent trips to the Asian holiday destination.

Basildon Crown Court heard the painter and decorator was arrested in August last year after he “accidentally” uploaded two category C images of children to Facebook.

He told officers he found underage girls “attractive and pretty” but single Grant was released on bail on the condition he did not have contact with children.

However, the pervert already had access to his victim and ignored the condition.

Alex Chalk, prosecuting, said police only uncovered the abuse after fully examining computer devices seized from his home.

On them, officers found a video of Grant performing oral sex on the girl, and “tens of thousands” of stills from four more videos showing sexual assaults.

One of the videos showed the girl asleep as a man performed a sex act.

Officers also found sexual images of another girl known to Grant as well as nine category A images, 23 category B images and 2,166 category C images of children aged between eight and 12 being abused.

Mr Chalk said: “Over the course of two years the defendant frequently sexually assaulted her. The abuse was still going on at the time the defendant was arrested.”

After his first arrest, Grant told the girl that he was “going away” and asked whether she wanted a “goodbye massage”.

He was arrested again in November.

Grant, who has been married three times, later told police that although he knew it was illegal he did not see any harm in the abuse because both he and the girl “enjoyed it”.

However, Grant warned the girl the meetings were “our little secret” and he would buy her gifts and fast food as a reward.

Grant admitted seven counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 and one count of sexual activity in the presence of a child, covering at least 30 occasions.

He also admitted one count of possessing indecent photographs of children, three counts of making indecent images of children, and two counts of taking an indecent photograph of a child.

Judge Ian Graham handed Grant a six-year prison sentence with a three year extended licence period- towards the top end of what sentencing guidelines allow.

He said: “You have demonstrated no remorse for your actions. I am satisfied that you present a significant risk of causing serious harm to children by committing further similar offences.”