Paedophile who groomed girl and had 12,500 child abuse images
A paedophile who blamed his vulnerable victim and downloaded more than 12,500 child abuse images has been jailed after a scathing speech by a judge.
Matthew John Dabbs appeared at Teesside Crown Court having already admitted two offences of causing or inciting a teenage girl to engage in sexual activity and one of sexual activity with a child.
He also pleaded guilty to two offences of making indecent photographs of children as young as four.
Adrian Dent, prosecuting, said the “very vulnerable” teenager, sexually abused by Dabbs, had a mental age of eight and had been groomed through a messaging app between May 2016 and his arrest in April this year.
Mr Dent said that, after police seized Dabbs’ computer equipment, the transcript of the pervert’s sexually explicit chats with the girl ran to 1,200 A4 pages.
He was caught out when the victim’s mother found some of the messages on her daughter’s phone.
In a statement read to the court, the victim’s mother said: “She functions at the age of an eight-year-old.
“She is very trusting – if an adult says something then that’s it for her.
“She feels like she’s being punished despite our assurances that she is not.
“She is struggling to find an appropriate way to vent her emotion.
“This has had a huge impact on our entire family.”
Mr Dent said that analysis of Dabbs’ computer and an iPhone had revealed a collection of 12,563 indecent images of children, some as young as four.
He added that 1,021 of the images were of the most serious category in law.
Teesside’s top judge, Simon Bourne-Arton, was unimpressed by Dabbs’ apparent lack of remorse.
He said: “Over a period of at least a year, you groomed this young girl.
“She was particularly vulnerable – a fact you understood and took advantage of.
“You may have suffered from depression yourself – your disadvantage in that respect is nothing when compared to hers.
“You incited her to carry out sexual activity.”
The judge then slammed Dabbs for statements he made in his probation interview.
He said: “You said that it was the victim who badgered you. You said she was a nuisance. You failed to see her as a child.
“You knew perfectly well she was vulnerable. She didn’t badger you. You were grooming her.”
The judge then turned to the thousands of indecent images found in Dabbs’ possession.
“This is not a victimless crime. Children are subjected to appalling abuse so that men like you can get sexually perverted pleasure from watching them – and here the children were as young as four.”
He jailed Dabbs, of Parliament Walk, Stockton, for a total of six years and placed a sexual harm prevention order on him.
Dabbs will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.