June 2018

Twisted paedophile treated girl, 5, as sex object

A pervert treated a five-year-old girl as a sex object and shared images of the vile abuse with a paedophile pal.

Stephen Merrett groomed the child by showing her child abuse films and persuading her that their intimacy was normal, Bristol Crown Court heard

The retired RAF serviceman even chatted with others about best ways to make the girl comply.

But his depraved antics emerged after the child revealed he had been “naughty”.

Last month the 63-year-old, of Severn Road in Weston-super-Mare, pleaded guilty to twice raping the youngster.

Today (June 7, 2018) he pleaded guilty to a catalogue of further offences involving some 25 incidents.

The charges included assault of a child under 13 by penetration and six charges of sexual assault of a child under 13.

They also comprised of two charges of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity; causing a child to watch a sexual act; five charges of making indecent photos of a child; distributing indecent photographs of a child.

Judge Euan Ambrose, who categorised him as a dangerous offender, handed him a 20 years extended sentence.

Merrett was told he would be sent to prison for at least two-thirds of a term of 13 years and four months. He will then be subject to an extended licence period of six years and eight months.

The judge told Merrett: “This was the wholesale corruption of a young child. It is clear you found the sexual abuse exciting and gratifying.”

Merrett was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order, barring him from unchecked internet use.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, said: “He has pleaded guilty to a series of offences whereby he subjected his victim to a sustained period of perverse sexual exploitation, coercion and abuse.

“She came to regard the sexual activity, penetrative and non-penetrative, as normal.

“His high level of grooming and compliance turned her into an object to be sexually abused, time and time again for two years.

“Not only did the defendant sexually abuse her but he took photographs and videos and distributed some of them to a man in the West Midlands.”

A police inquiry also established Merrett downloaded and kept a sordid stash of images of children being abused from the internet.

When interviewed he suggested his victim initiated sexual contact and expressed a desire and appetite for it, the court heard.

Mr Posner said: “That assertion, the prosecution submits, is demonstrably false.”

The girl’s mum gave an impact statement in which she said: “My beautiful, smart, baby girl. What did she do to deserve this?

“She has had her world turned upside down, she has been abused mentally and physically.”

Advertisements