June 2018

Paedophile threatened to ruin babysitter’s life if he did not take indecent photographs of children

A paedophile ordered a teenager he met online to take indecent photographs of children he was babysitting and threatened to ruin his life if he refused.

Stephen Peart, 36, from Cardiff, sent the victim “disgusting” child abuse images and told him he would frame him for distribution of the pictures if he did not do as he was told.

Sentencing him at Cardiff Crown Court , Judge Tom Crowther QC described his behaviour as “warped and destructive”.

The court heard the incident occurred on the night of March 30.

John Lloyd, prosecuting, said the 18-year-old victim – who cannot be named for legal reasons – met the defendant on the craigslist website.

Peart contacted him just after midnight and they began a conversation on Kik messenger.

Mr Lloyd said: “At the time [the complainant’s] parents were not aware of his sexual orientation.”

The defendant told him he was feeling “shy” and nervous” and the teenager said he was babysitting.

Mr Lloyd said: “The messages became sexual.”

The court heard Peart began to talk about his sexual interest in children, making a reference to children’s underwear.

Prosecutors said the victim felt “uncomfortable” and asked him to stop but did not know how to block his messages.

Peart asked the teenager if he wanted to see an indecent image and he said no but the defendant started to send him images anyway.

The court heard the victim said: “I don’t want to watch that s***. It’s f***ing disgusting.”

Peart said he would send him images of younger children and told the teenager to go upstairs, pull back the covers, put his hands into a child’s underwear and take photographs.

Prosecutors said the defendant threatened: “I have ways of making it look like you sent all these to me. Go take the pictures I asked for and then I won’t have your life f***ed up.”

The court heard Peart blackmailed the young man by demanding cash and indecent images.

He then sent the victim more images of child abuse and said: “Still waiting.”

The teenager started to panic and told his mother what had happened. The court heard he was “very distressed” and was forced to come out to his parents as he explained the situation.

Mr Lloyd said: “Until that point his parents did not realise he was gay.”

Prosecutors said the victim’s mother tried to comfort him and contacted the police, who identified the defendant through his craigslist account and arrested him on April 1.

Officers seized his phone and discovered he had distributed six of the most serious Category A indecent films of children.

The court heard he also distributed 11 Category B videos, one Category C video, and 32 Category C still images.

In addition he was found in possession of two extreme pornography videos.

Prosecutors said most of the images showed children aged between six and 10 with one as young as three.

Officers found Peart had conversations with men about his sexual interest in children and told one he had been trying to see young boys’ genitals.

Mr Lloyd said: “He also sent messages to other men asking for their children’s underwear for his sexual pleasure.”

When he was interviewed by the police Peart did not dispute the victim’s account and told officers he had been drinking heavily that night.

He accepted he had always found children attractive and received sexual gratification from looking at indecent images, acknowledging it was illegal.

Questioned about his threat, he said it was “a joke” and told officers he was not trying to make money from the victim.

In a statement the victim said the incident had left him “mentally and physically drained”, adding: “I am so tried that every day since I have been in bed sleeping.”

He said: “The incident has left me feeling sick. I am never going on craigslist again. I will never be able to trust someone on there again.”

Mr Lloyd described the victim as a “private person” and said he found the incident “mortifying”.

The court heard Peart was sent to a young offender institution for 21 months in 1999 for indecently assaulting children he was babysitting.

He was locked up for another two months for sending an “obscene” pornographic Christmas card to a 12-year-old victim.

In 2002 he was sentenced to three and a half years in detention after taking an eight-year-old child from their parents. The child was reported missing for 12 hours while they were at Barry Island with the defendant.

Peart, from Cowbridge Road East, admitted blackmail, possessing and distributing indecent images of children, and possessing extreme pornography.

The court heard he is single and lives alone.

Judge Crowther told him: “It is clear from the pre-sentence report that you remain sexually attracted to children. The one redeeming feature is that you recognise this.”

He added: “Your sexual interest in children caused you to act in a warped and destructive way.

“You said you would incriminate [the complainant] in this. You threatened to ruin his life.”

The judge noted the impact on the victim had been “very severe”, adding: “He was dreadfully upset by this. He is obviously depressed. You have made him ill.

“This was a young man forced into revealing his sexuality under duress rather than at a time of his choosing.”

Judge Crowther imposed a six-year extended sentence made up of a 40-month jail term and 32-month extension period.

Peart must serve at least two thirds of the jail term before he can be considered for release.

The judge also made an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Peart must register as a sex offender indefinitely.

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