Man jailed for breaching Sexual Offences Prevention Order - Croxley Green

22/05/2013

Moving his mum's van proved costly indeed for Croxley Green man, Richard Ford.

He was banned from driving at the time when police officers spotted him at the wheel of his mother's van. But when he was arrested, it was discovered that Ford, of New Road in Croxley Green, had been involved in much more sinister activities.

St Albans Crown Court heard today, Wednesday, 22 May 2013, that when he was pulled up by the officers he was already a registered sex offender. Twice before he had been convicted of making and possessing indecent images of children. And as a result of those court convictions in September 2009 and May 2012, he's been made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

Part of the conditions of the order meant he was prevented from owning a mobile phone or laptop that could access the internet without software being present to show his website activity. And when police examined a mobile phone found in the van and later a laptop at his home, it was discovered Ford had been unable to resist downloading and storing depraved images of youngsters being raped and sexually abused. He had also downloaded sickening pictures of acts of bestiality.

As a result, the 42-year-old appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to three offences of breaching a sexual offences prevention order, possessing extreme pornographic images, two offences of possessing indecent photos of a child, and driving whilst disqualified in New Road, Croxley Green on 19 February this year.

Judge John Plumstead jailed Ford for four and a half years and said he would remain on licence for six years because of the seriousness of his offending.

The court heard that when Ford was spotted driving, he was moving the car which belonged to his mum and who was away on holiday. The court was told that on one of two mobiles found in a jacket in the van, police found a folder entitled 'Kids.' When opened, it was found to contain indecent images of young girls.

Hertfordshire Police's High Tech Crime Unit were called in and they found more obscene images.

The judge was told Ford had a long record going back to 1991, which included convictions for theft, assault, drink driving, child cruelty, possessing indecent images, and breaching a restraining order.

Judge Plumstead said there were "disquieting features" to the case and he said the defendant had inflicted acts of cruelty on two young children. The judge said that there was evidence that Ford had also been seeking relationships with women with small children. But the judge said he had also spurned efforts to help him stop his internet offending and still didn't accept that what he was doing was wrong.

"The trouble with this man is that he won't stop," said the judge, who said he had concluded that Ford was a danger to the public and a risk to children.

The judge told Ford he was passing an "extended sentence" of ten and a half years where the custodial element of the sentence was four and half years and the period he would spend on licence after his release was six years. In addition he was disqualified from driving for four months, and made the subject of a further Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

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