March 2018

Heybridge paedophile, 54, jailed for eight years after admitting creating 2,600 indecent images

A sex predator from Heybridge has been jailed for eight years for sexual activity with a child and creating indecent images of her from seven years of her life.

Andrew Baker, 54, of Heybridge, was lambasted by Judge Emma Peters at Chelmsford Crown Court today as she sentenced him for nine child sex offences.

The offences included four counts of sexual activity with a child, two for inciting sexual activity, and three for making indecent images of children.

Prosecuting, Paul Scothern told the court how more than 2,000 indecent images had been organised on Baker’s computer into separate folders for how old his victim was.

He said: “The charges related to a case of historic sexual activity between Mr Baker and a girl who was aged 13 at the time of the first incident which was recorded as being in January 2007.

“Police received a complaint about historical sexual abuse in 2017 and as a result he was arrested at his home address, where a laptop computer and mobile phone were seized and subject to analysis.

“More than 2,600 indecent images of category A, B and C were found on the computer of the girl, along with several images of other children with genitals exposed.

“The images were stored in different folders which were marked with the girl’s name and how old she was, with a folder a year from age 13 to 20.

“The images were of her carrying out sexual activities and posing for the camera.”

Mr Scothern added: “There was clearly a significant degree of planning and shows the extent of grooming that Mr Baker carried out in those years.

“This fact, along with the pictures of other children found on the computer suggest he could be a danger to the public.”

Mitigating for Baker, Peter Barlex said the relationship was consensual and that Baker believed he and his victim had a “real connection” with “plans for the future”.

He said: “In reference to the images of other children, this is something the defendant is deeply ashamed of. He was going through a very stressful period with high amounts of anxiety which he contributes to succumbing to viewing these images.

“It should be stated the many images on the computer were never intended to be published.”

Judge Emma Peters stated Baker had a “skewered” vision on his treatment of the girl.

She told him: “You described the relationship as consensual, that you had a connection.

“The truth is that a child cannot give consent, because he or she is a child. You were 30 years older.

“You would have regular sexual intercourse and other activity with her, saying that she was a willing player.

“This only highlights the extent of your grooming of her for many, many years.

“This was wrong. This was not a relationship. This was child abuse. Plain and simple.

“It is clear from mitigation that you are a man capable of love. Such a disappointment it is that you chose to show this love through sexual relations with a child, rather than someone of your own age.”

Baker was given eight years in prison for sexual activity with a child, three years for creating indecent images, and two years for inciting sexual behaviour from a child to run concurrently, totalling eight years.

He will also remain on the sex offenders register for life.

Judge Peters added: “Your rationale on what is right and wrong is skewered, and I hope you learn this in prison.

“You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself.”