July 2019

Predatory paedophile paid mums for naked photos of their children

A paedophile who targeted Filipino mothers to get indecent images of their young daughters has been sentenced.

Andrew Leigh trawled dating sites to befriend women in the Philippines in order to prey on children as young as five.

Leicester Crown Court was told the police arrested ex-serviceman, Leigh, on March 13 last year and seized his iPad, phone and laptop.

Some evidence was then lost when officers inspected it, because the defendant remotely controlled the devices to delete material as soon as it was connected to the internet.

Gary Short, prosecuting, said some Skype chat data was saved, which showed that Leigh contacted women in the Philippines and established if they had daughters between five and 12 years old.

The 56-year-old, formerly of Lossiemouth Road, Hinckley, asked for naked photographs of young female relatives and sometimes material was provided for payment.

Mr Short said: “During the course of the exchanges he requested they engage in sexual acts with adult males, but it’s not known if that happened.”

Leigh’s WorldRemit account showed he made 36 transactions overseas totalling about £2,000, from December 2015 and July last year.

The defendant, a father-of-three, told one woman he “supported” a few girls from the Philippines for “modelling” and asked for naked images of a girl aged 10 or 11.

Another woman tried to dissuade him from this, suggesting older females, but he said he wanted eight to 12-year-olds and told her to “offer them sweets”, and he would pay the woman £25.

Leigh discussed payment with another Filipino woman online and a video call was then made where he watched “one if not two children naked in a live situation,” said Mr Short.  

In several situations, mothers showed him clothed photos of children, as young as five, and if he liked them he would request naked images and discuss payment.”  

Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: “You systematically targeted women in the Philippines to have access to children.

“You offered them money to obtain images for your sexual gratification.

“They were susceptible to the offers you were making.

“This entrenched pattern of behaviour was entirely deliberate and predatory.

“An aggravating feature was you arranged for material to be deleted automatically when the devices were plugging in for inspection by the police. 

“You represent a high risk of causing serious harm to children because of the predatory and manipulative aspects of your behaviour.

“The judge said the risk “is present now and will  continue to be so after your release.”

He added: “However, the sort of treatment your counsel speaks of will be available to you in prison and the courses may mean the risk that you pose will diminish in time.”

Leigh admitted two counts of arranging or facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child under 13, by recording indecent images of children, aged between eight and 12 years, between February 2013 and March 2018.

He admitted a similar offence relating to no less than seven further occasions when he recorded indecent images of children under 13.

Leigh also pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children with one image in the most serious range, category one, another one in category B and 129 in category C, between February 2013 and March 2018.

He admitted distributing three category C images.

Leigh was jailed for four years and eight months and told he will have to serve at least two thirds of the sentence.

The judge extended the licence period for an additional five years.

Leigh was placed on an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and all future addresses will have to be listed on a sex offender register.