A paedophile who filmed himself performing sex acts in front of two young girls has been given an extended prison sentence for the protection of the public.
Stephen Ford’s deleted recordings were recovered by police using special equipment to access a number of video clips he had made. The longest was 57 seconds long.
Ford, 57, of Hyde Road, Blackpool, has been given a sentence of six and a half years jail, with four years extended licence to follow. A judge told him yesterday it would be for the Parole Board to determine whether he was to be released after serving two-thirds of his sentence or later.
He had been committed by magistrates for sentencing at Preston Crown Court on 10 charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, plus five of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.
The court had heard how his computer was seized. Images or video clips that had been deleted by Ford were retrieved using special software.
Mark Lamberty, prosecuting, had earlier told the court that an officer found around 19 video clips of Ford performing sexual acts or engaging in them in front of two girls aged three and four.
When the defendant was arrested and interviewed he admitted his conduct straight away. The defendant said there were 20 occasions when misconduct had happened.
Mr Lamberty added: “He (Ford) justified his conduct to himself by saying that because they were under five, it was unlikely the children would remember what had occurred in later life and that the children had regarded the activity as a sort of game”.
Back in April 2003 the defendant was given six years prison for 17 offences. That case had involved three girls. He was released in December 2005.
Janet Ironfield, defending, told the court he had made full and very frank admissions to the police and had pleaded guilty to the offences at the earliest stage.
“He was anxious to avoid the possibility that these young children would have to go through the ordeal of being video interviewed by the police. They have not been put through that ordeal.”
The barrister said the offences had not involved fear, physical threat, force or coercion. They had been opportunistic, rather than planned offences.
Judge Jacqueline Beech said a report on Ford described him as lacking real remorse or victim empathy.
She said: “Despite treatment you retain a capacity to re-offend against children, the report says and maybe further treatment is not appropriate,” she said. Monitoring may be the only realistic future management plan in your case”.