A former police cadet filmed himself raping an eight-year-old girl and stored the footage on his computer, a court was told today.
Alan Martin carried out a series of horrific offences against the youngster but he was only caught after he started trading pictures of her with other paedophiles he met over the internet.
Mark Knowles, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Martin included the girl’s name on the files he swapped. After his activity was discovered by police they were able to trace the victim and her family to their address in a small village near Grantham.
Later when Martin’s computer was examined the full horror of the abuse he inflicted on the girl was found in graphic detail with his own films and photographs providing the evidence against him.
His lap top and computer hard drive contained over 170 photographs of his victim. Thousands of other indecent images of children were also found.
Mr Knowles said: “A significant number of images of the girl and the defendant engaging in sexual activity were discovered.”
He said the images included rape.
Martin, 28, formerly of Grantham but now living in Church Lane, Arnold, Notts, admitted three charges of rape and six charges of sexual assault.
The offences occurred between January 1 2011 and December 31 2012.
He also admitted possession of 14,091 indecent images of children found on his computer together with charges of three charges of making an indecent image of a child, three charges of taking an indecent image of a child and one charge of distributing indecent images of children.
Martin was jailed for 16 years and ordered to remain on parole licence until 2027. He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from working with children.
Judge Michael Heath branded Martin a danger to young girls and told him: “Your abuse of this little girl was appalling. You knew what you were doing. You knew that it was wrong but you carried on anyway.
“It is plain that you groomed her from when she was five years of age. You engaged in a variety of sexual acts with her and you filmed sexual activity.
“What harm you have caused to this little girl heaven only knows. It may not reveal itself until much later in her life. I hope and pray that it isn’t such that is sometimes the case but we will not know for several years.
“There is no doubt that you pose a high risk of re-offending and you are dangerous.”
Chris Milligan, defending, said that Martin suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome and had difficulty in communicating with other people.
He said: “He didn’t achieve at school. He spent some time as a police cadet. When he went into work he was caring for people who had dementia. His social circle of peers of his own age was non-existent.
“To some extent at the time he knew what he was doing was wrong but he carried on anyway. He was looking at it through the eyes of someone who has a condition which means he does not function as others do.
“He is sorry for what he has done to this young girl although his insight and full understanding of what he has done is limited.”
The court heard staff at Lincolnshire Police’s Internet Child Abuse Team (ICAT) executed a warrant at an address in the Grantham area, arrested Martin, and seized his computer equipment. Two vulnerable children were identified and safeguarded.
ICAT Det Sgt Vicki Midgley said: “As Judge Heath said, these offences were appalling by any standards and they demonstrated a grave breach of trust.
“We hope this demonstrates that Lincolnshire Police’s Internet Child Abuse Team (ICAT) not only investigates online child abuse offences, but also leaves no stone unturned in terms of unearthing any possible contact offending.
“We are incredibly pleased with today’s sentencing and we hope this enables the family to in some way move forward with their lives.”