June 2021

Paedophile filmed himself raping child

A paedophile who filmed himself raping a female toddler has been jailed for 21 years.

John-Paul Zegstroo, 28, twice tried to evade justice by making unnecessary trips to York and Scarborough Hospital and getting doctors there to examine him when he was perfectly well, York Crown Court heard.

But he was arrested immediately after the second hospital visit and brought to court to stand his trial.

The court heard the child’s natural development has been affected by his actions.

Zegstroo, of Overdale Gardens, Scarborough, was convicted by a jury of two counts of rape of a child under 13, sexual assault of a child under 13, causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and taking indecent images.

Calling Zegstroo’s crimes “extremely unusual and extremely serious offending,” Judge Simon Hickey jailed him for 21 years.

He also put him on the sex offenders’ register and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order aimed at preventing him having contact with children in future. Both orders are for life.

“How you tried to delay justice by pretending you were ill when you were not shows your character,” the judge told Zegstroo.

On the day his trial was due to start, Zegstroo went to York Hospital claiming he was ill. But doctors there examined him thoroughly and gave him a clean bill of health, the judge said.

Jurors had to be told the trial had been delayed by a day.

“The next day in the early hours, he presented himself to Scarborough Hospital in a clear attempt, in my judgement, to avoid trial again. Again, he was examined thoroughly and given a clean bill of health,” the judge said.

“This time I had taken the step of having officers waiting for him, he was arrested and brought to court to stand trial.”

Zegstroo had lied throughout the court process and to medical experts after his conviction who were trying to assess his mental state, the judge said.

He had given different stories to the medical experts and to the probation officer.

Zegstroo had previously worked as a mascot for Party Time, a bouncy castle and party hire company.

April 2021

Mum’s torment after Scarborough children’s entertainer raped and abused her young daughter

A mother has spoken out after a Scarborough children’s entertainer was found guilty of raping and sexually abusing her daughter.

On Monday a jury at York Crown Court determined that John-Paul Zegstroo, 27, was guilty of eight separate charges relating to abuse of the girl, including two counts of raping a child under 13 years of age between December 2018 and March 2020.

Zegstroo, of Overdale Gardens, Eastfield, was also found guilty of sexually assaulting the victim between the same dates, three counts of causes or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity between October 2019 and March 2020, and two counts of taking indecent images of the girl.

Zegstroo had previously pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The case, which had been due to begin on April 15, was delayed by claims of ill-health by Zegstroo, who was on taken out of court in an ambulance after complaining of chest pains.

The mother of the victim said that the delays had been upsetting, particularly as she was not able to get her child proper psychological support until the trial’s end, in case more evidence was required.

“I’m just relieved it’s over,” she said, “My child suffered so much”.

She said that a lawyer had said that the images in Zegstroo’s possession were some of the worst they had seen.

She thanked North Yorkshire Police, describing their work on the case as “amazing”.

Zegstroo has previously worked as a mascot for Party Time, a bouncy castle and party hire company.

Sentencing has been adjourned pending a psychological evaluation.