A registered sex offender from Westcliff has been jailed for 15 years for a string of new sex offences.
52 year-old Davy Nicholls, from Manor Road, admitted having indecent images of children and also having sexual activity with a child under the age of 13.
Essex Police started an investigation after a member of the public in Nicholls’ bric-a-brac shop on London road saw suspicious images on his laptop open on the serving desk in November 2014.
She contacted police and the force’s On-Line Investigation Team found a large number of indecent images at the shop and on a camera and computer.
Further enquiries found he had also been abusing a young girl.
He was charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child under 13, one of breaching his Sexual Offences Prevention Order, one of taking indecent images of a child, and a further eight of making and possessing indecent images of children.
He pleaded guilty to every offence.
In court, it was heard Nicholls had been jailed for four-and-a-half years in 2008 for sexually assaulting a 12 year-old girl and possessing indecent images, and was released on licence part way through that sentence.
Judge David Owen-Jones described him as “a significant risk to children and members of the public and there was the likelihood of serious harm and further sex offences if he was released from custody.”
Investigating officer, Dc Gill Partridge of the Essex Police On-Line Investigation Unit, said: “The child involved in the latest crimes was understandably devastated, as were her family, to discover that Nicholls had been jailed for similar crimes.
“He managed to conceal his past and preyed on the girl for more than two years.
“He was extremely cunning and tried to keep the offences secret but fortunately a member of the public saw images on the computer at his shop and police intervened immediately.”