January 2012 

Bromley paedophile Dean Hardy jailed for 10 years

A paedophile has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for crimes which took place between 1984 and 1991.

At Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday (10), Dean Hardy, 52, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to eight and a half years for three separate counts of indecent assault on a boy under 16, to be served concurrently.

He was also handed 18 months for one count gross indecency with a boy under 14, to run consecutively.

He was found guilty at the court on January 6 of the offences, which occurred in Bromley, Lewisham and Catford.

The paedophile was jailed in 2009 for six years after pleading guilty to abusing young girls in Thailand and Cambodia.

A forensic anthropologist found that the distinctive freckles on the fingers of a hand seen in images of abuse were the same as Hardy’s.

Four more victims contacted police after reading about his conviction and on May 10 last year, Hardy was charged.

Acting Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh from the Met’s Paedophile Unit said: “I would like to thank the media for their coverage of this case which encouraged UK victims of Hardy to come forward.

“The case demonstrates that we are constantly looking at new and innovative techniques to capture and imprison paedophiles. The message is clear to paedophiles- we will be relentless in bringing you to justice, the passage of time – even if it is decades – is no guarantee that your crimes will not be solved.

“Most of all I would like to say thank you to our very brave victims, without your patience and support Hardy would not have been convicted. We appreciate how difficult it was to go through two trials.

“We have reason to believe Hardy may have committed offences against young male and female victims.

“We would urge anyone who believes they may have been a victim to have the confidence to report the incident to police. We are here to support and protect you.”

The investigation team can be contacted direct on             0207 1612811       or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers c on             0800 555 111      , ChildLine on            0800 1111       or inform a teacher or trusted individual

April 2009

Paedophile identified by his freckled hands in sex abuse photographs jailed for 6 years

A paedophile snared when police matched his freckled hand to a photo showing an eight-year-old girl being abused was jailed for six years today.

Depraved pervert Dean Hardy, 50, was caught red-handed after photographing himself molesting pre-pubescent girls while on holiday in Thailand.

Hardy, who a court heard was the first person ever to be identified by police simply by a photograph of their hand, carried out ‘sexual tourism of the most offensive kind’, Southwark Crown Court heard.

The ‘predatory abuser’ from Orpington in Kent made several trips to the Far East on business, visiting brothels in his free time.

Furniture seller Hardy was careful to avoid identifying himself by only including his hand in his snaps.

However this gave detectives a vital clue that led to his downfall. They sent one of the images together with a picture of Hardy’s hand to an expert who said they were highly likely to be the same person.

Confronted by the damning evidence, Hardy pleaded guilty immediately.

Detective Constable Dave Adams, of Scotland Yard’s Specialist Crime Directorate, said: ‘He had no other option than to accept they were his hands. The evidence was overwhelming.’

Sentencing Hardy, Judge Gregory Stone QC said: ‘This was sexual tourism of the most offensive kind.

‘It is plain from the evidence that you went to Thailand where you molested young girls and took indecent photographs of those young female children. As many as four children were involved in those crimes.

‘You were plainly exploiting their and their families’ poverty and vulnerability without caring what hurt you were inflicting on those children and caring only for your own depraved gratification.

‘Crimes such as these have real victims. They are the young children involved who are abused and humiliated to satisfy your own sexual desires. There can be no doubt they suffer real and severe damage.’

Judge Stone said he could not consider an indefinite sentence because the crimes dated from 2004 before a law change.

He praised officers’ ‘determination and ingenuity’ in bringing Hardy to justice.

Hardy was exposed when he emailed a fellow paedophile asking if he could ‘supply’ a child that he could photograph.

When police raided his house they recovered indecent pictures of young girls on his computer and camera memory cards, which also had family pictures stored on them.

Peter Zinner, prosecuting, said: ‘The majority of the 63 images [before the court] on the memory cards depict images of pre-pubescent females of South East Asian extraction in sexual acts both between themselves and what appeared to be adults.

‘It appeared the taker of the images and abuser had taken sufficient care to avoid having their faces photographed and avoid detection.

‘The images did show an adult hand which was a significant image because there were some quite striking blemishes or freckling to the hand.’

Police noticed similarities between Hardy’s hand and the one pictured in images showing the abuse of an eight-year-old girl.

They sent pictures of both to Professor Sue Black, a forensic anthropologist for analysis.

Mr Zinner said: ‘It was that decision that led to this case being the first of its kind. Mr Hardy was identified by the use of that image.

‘He declined to admit he was involved initially in any of the abusive images.

‘When he was presented with the forensic evidence he admitted he was responsible for taking all the pictures and he was responsible for touching the young girls in at least five of the pictures.’

Police had further luck when they examined Hardy’s passport which had faded when it went through the wash.

Fortunately, stamps showing him leaving Thailand on March 24th, 2004, matching the date on the photos. Credit card records also proved he was in the country at the time.

A year after his Thailand trip, Hardy was cautioned for common assault involving the hugging and kissing of a 15-year-old girl who worked for him in Britain, the court was told.

Wearing a woolly beige jumper and anorak, grey-haired Hardy, who is married with a 12-year-old son, stared blankly at the ground as he was sentenced.

DC Adams said: ‘This conviction sends out a message that child abusers who travel abroad to carry out their revolting crimes are not safe.

‘I am pleased with the sentence. Tjis is a dangerous man who is a sex tourist.

‘We have a duty of care for children worldwide and we are protecting them by this prosecution.

‘We will be seeking a foreign travel order to ban him from visiting certain countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam where sex tourists are known to travel.

Hardy pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault on a female under 14, four of taking indecent photographs of children, and one count of possessing photographs of children, all dating from 2004.

He has been banned from working with children indefinitely and will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.