April 2010

Jail for paedophile who abused girl, 5

A PAEDOPHILE sexually abused a girl of five after inviting her to his home to play with his young son, a court heard.

Paul Ronan, (pictured), pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the child on January 3 last year and to causing her to engage in a sexual activity with him.

He also admitted downloading around 2,000 child pornography images onto his computer between July 2008 and January 4 last year.

The pictures, including some movie clips, were in all five categories, category one being the least serious and category five the worst.

Prosecutor Piers Norsworthy said Ronan also gave the naked children a video camera to play with, but no images were recorded on it.

Paul Rowsell, for Ronan, said he had not befriended the parents to gain access to the girl, adding: “He is not a well man and hasn’t been for some time.”

He said that after serving in the forces in Northern Ireland and the First Gulf War and suffering a very serious industrial accident, Ronan, was “a pitiful figure”.

He said Ronan, aged 40 and of Victory Street in Keyham, had been receiving psychiatric help, needed one-to-one help he would not get in prison and was terrified of being jailed and having his home repossessed.

Judge Francis Gilbert QC told Ronan, who sat with his head bowed throughout: “These were very serious offences and were a gross abuse of trust of a young girl in your home.”He said Ronan would get limited credit for his guilty pleas and lack of previous similar offences.

He jailed Ronan for a total of three years, ordered him to remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely and imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Outside the court, Acting Det Sgt Mark Bevan of the Devonport-based Child Abuse Investigation Team said that following a parent’s report, the police had investigated thoroughly.

“The families had to endure the passing months in anticipation of a trial, but when Ronan pleaded guilty it meant the children were not subjected to giving evidence at the trial,” he said.