June 2009

Paedophile jailed for kidnapping girl

A PREDATORY paedophile who kidnapped a 13-year-old girl has been sent to youth custody for five years.

Daniel Hunsdon, 18, from Chestnut Drive, Brixham, groomed the teenager, from Glasgow, after he met her on social networking website Bebo. He then sent her sexually explicit picture messages and finally travelled by coach from his Brixham home to Scotland to collect her.

Following the sentence at Exeter Crown Court, police issued a stark warning about the dangers of youngsters using social networking websites.

DC Lisa Stiddard, based at Paignton CID, said Hunsdon’s case had been difficult and particularly unpleasant.

“The case highlights the potential dangers of children using social networking sites and the importance of parents in monitoring their children’s use of such sites.”

Jailing Hunsdon, Judge Phillip Wassell told him: “You planned the abduction of this girl having groomed her for your own sexual gratification. This case highlights the dangers of social networking sites when they are exploited by sexual predators like you.”

The court heard that Hunsdon, who sobbed in the dock, initiated sexual activity with the girl as they travelled back from Scotland and had sex with her when they returned to his flat after they shared a bath.

The court also heard the teenager was so traumatised by her ordeal that she tried to kill herself.

Hunsdon was arrested after police found the pair naked in bed.

Crown Prosecutor Malcolm Galloway said: “The defendant was arrested and cautioned, he replied ‘yeah we had sex but she consented’.” The victim was later to tell the police that they had discussed having sex and that she was under 16 years old.

He said even when the girl’s parents had become suspicious because of her huge mobile phone bill, she persuaded them nothing was going on. She was talking to Hunsdon three or four times a day, and after he bought coach tickets in false names she packed her bags to go with him.

The girl’s father contacted police who traced Hunsdon.

The court heard that forensic examinations of Hunsdon’s computer revealed a total of 4,882 child abuse images with 41 of them in the most serious category. There were also six category five movie files found on CDs and DVDs, as well as a folder containing graphic images of the teenager.

Hunsdon also admitted to sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

He pleaded guilty to a total of 22 charges at an earlier hearing on April 23.

Judge Phillip Wassall sentenced Hunsdon to a total of five years in custody for the offences. He will serve four years for the abduction and sexual acts committed with the teenage girl and for sexual offences he committed with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. He will also serve 12 months to run consecutively for making and possessing indecent photographs of children.

Judge Wassall said Hunsdon could be out on licence after he had served about half of the sentence, but added a further two years of supervision under license to his sentence. Hunsdon must also sign the Sexual Offenders Register and is banned from working with children for life.