June 2008

Father speaks out after sex offender jailed

A 44-YEAR-OLD man who sexually assaulted a teenage girl has been given a 15-month jail term.

David Hart, of Springhead Road, Northfleet, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court last Thursday after pleading guilty to 12 offences.

He was charged with committing a sexual assault by touching, based on evidence provided by two photographs.

Hart also admitted two charges of taking two indecent photographs of a 15-year-old girl and making nine indecent photographs of other children.

Speaking outside the court after Hart had been sentenced, the girl’s father said: “I am pleased he got a custodial sentence. I think the judge did the best he could.

“We are worried about the future and we are worried when he is released he might prey on other girls.”

Judge Jeremy Carey heard the 15-year-old victim had told her family she had a 17-year-old boyfriend who was in the Salvation Army.

However, the girl’s family learned about Hart when her father checked who she had been calling from her mobile phone.

Hart was arrested on August 7 last year and interviewed by police, but he continued to contact the girl.

A few days later her mother found a scrapbook which contained receipts of meals they had enjoyed together and other memorabilia.

As a result of this, police took two computers belonging to Hart and found 71 indecent images on them.

The court also heard three videos found by police showed children between the age of three and 11 being sexually abused.

Prosecutor Alex Wilson said Hart was fascinated by the girl and had used a map on his computer to mark places which related to her, such as her school.

John Connor, mitigating, said Hart loved the girl and was flattered by the attention she gave him.

Sentencing Hart, the judge told him he was deluding himself and needed to be rehabilitated.

Although Hart was sentenced to 15 months, he had already served 118 days on remand.

He was also put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.