September 2015

Gateshead paedophile who sexually abused two young girls had 12,000 indecent images


A twisted pervert who sexually abused two young girls had videos of one of the victims on his computer, among more than 12,000 indecent images.

Paedophile Leslie Short left his victims traumatised for life by grooming and molesting them in separate attacks spanning a decade.

During one of the assaults, one of the girls tried to run away but he grabbed her by the ankles to try to stop her.

When one of the victims told her mother what had happened, police were called and Short was arrested.

On computer equipment found at his house, there were a total of 12,351 indecent images of children.

Among them was footage he had taken of one of the abuse victims and images of other children he copied from someone’s computer while fixing it.

When confronted by police, Short said: “I can’t explain all this. Sick mind I suppose.”

Now the 59-year-old, never in trouble before, has been locked up for 12 years atNewcastle Crown Court.

Judge Robin Mairs told him: “You used the guise of being a caring adult to immerse yourself in the lives of young children then abused them.

“This spanned at least a decade and it is clear you are an entrenched and committed paedophile.”

Short, of Campion Gardens, Gateshead, carried out the attacks on the first girl when she was aged six or seven.

Robert Spragg, prosecuting, said the sexual assaults had had a lasting impact on her.

He said: “It has particularly affected her school life and her ability to trust people.

“She ended up with severe depression, her relationship with her mother suffered and her ability to form relationships with other people suffered.

“She says she doesn’t think she will ever get over what he did to her and feels she will be mentally scarred for life.”

The second victim has also been badly affected by Short’s actions, the court heard.

Mr Spragg said: “She became clingy and anxious about going to other people’s houses for the night and has had bad dreams as a result of what happened to her.”

When Short was arrested, police searched his home and found the indecent images and movies.

Among the footage was video he had taken of one of the abuse victims, although not of the abuse.

He had also copied images of other children from a computer he was fixing for someone.

Short pleaded guilty to five child sex offences seven offences of making indecent images of children.

As well as the 12 year prison sentence he must sign the sex offender register for life, was barred from working with chidren and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order.

Jamie Adams, defending, said: “He is not making excuses for it and he accepts totally the wrongfulness of what he has done.

“He has been, for much of his life, a hard working man. He is now a sad heap of a human being with nothing to look forward to.

“He acknowledges the damage his behaviour has done to the young people we have heard about.”