Paedophile policeman who preyed on children for 11 years is jailed for life
A former policeman has been branded ‘every parent’s worst nightmare’ after committing a string of sex offences against children.
Daniel Lishman has been jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 11 years before being considered for parole.
He used jobs as a mobile dog-groomer and a TV licensing officer to help him carry out at least eight offences and also posed as a policeman to indecently assault two young girls, Coventry Crown Court heard.
The 37-year-old, of Thorpe Street, Raunds, Northamptonshire, was convicted at previous hearings of 26 counts and asked for four others to be considered.
The charges, including one of rape and 12 of sexual assault, related to a total of 13 victims, including three with disabilities or learning difficulties, as well as hundreds of indecent images of children.
Lishman, who was a serving police constable when his first crime was committed, was arrested in April last year after attacking a 12-year-old girl while pretending to check on a boiler at an address in Southam, Warwickshire.
Judge Peter Carr was told that Lishman, who served with Northamptonshire Police between 1995 and 2002, was linked to a string of other offences after detectives who arrested him found a camera memory card hidden in one of his socks.
The card contained images showing Lishman posing indecently near an eight-year-old girl, who had been ‘blindfolded’ using a pair of taped-up goggles in the back of his dog-grooming van.
Passing sentence at Coventry Crown Court, Judge Carr told Lishman: ‘About ten years or so ago, you began what can only be described as your systematic sexual abuse of your victims, who were in the main very young children.’
The judge said it would be not be an exaggeration to describe Lishman as every parent’s worst nightmare, telling the former special and regular police constable: ‘You are in my view an intelligent, but also cunning, devious and extremely plausible man.’
Judge Carr added that Lishman had left many of his victims too frightened to go out and also led parents to wrongly blame themselves for what had happened to their children.
The court heard that Lishman, who showed no emotion as he was sentenced, targeted girls aged between eight and 14, two young boys, and a woman aged in her 20s. The offences took place between early 2001 and February 2010 and all but one was committed in Northamptonshire.
In a statement issued after Lishman was jailed, Northamptonshire Police confirmed that he was required to resign from the force in 2002 after a woman made sexual allegations against him.
Speaking outside the court, Detective Inspector Steve Woliter appealed for other possible victims to come forward.
The officer, who led the inquiry, said: ‘Over the years, Daniel Lishman sought the company and attention of children and put himself in a position of trust.
‘He took up forms of employment with TV licensing and as a mobile dog groomer to gain people’s trust and then abused this.
‘We cannot rule out the possibility that there are other victims who have not yet come forward.’
Classing Lishman’s crimes as heinous, the officer added: ‘He enjoyed being in authority. He enjoyed being taken into people’s confidence and being able to abuse children.’
Asked about the paedophile’s service as a police officer, Mr Woliter told reporters:
‘Lishman was required to resign from our organisation in 2002.
‘He had served some time as a special constable and also as a police constable.
‘In May 2001, a female adult made a number of sexual allegations against Lishman. He was disciplined for that and the highest sanction possible was taken.
‘From the timescales that we have got from one of his first victims, it would appear that at that time Lishman was also a serving police officer.’
Detective Inspector Peter Hill, the officer in charge of the investigation into the offence committed in Warwickshire, said the life sentence handed to Lishman underlined the significance of his offending.
Mr Hill observed: ‘Throughout several days of police interviews following his initial arrest, Lishman refused to answer questions put to him and as a result the victims and witnesses had to go through the ordeal of taking part in an identification procedure.
‘We would not be in the position we are in now were it not for the strength and courage of these witnesses.’