Febuary 2012

Paedophile jailed for ten years

A PAEDOPHILE guilty of committing sex offences against a young girl was behind bars this week after being jailed for 10 years.

Aran Black (39), of Gibson Court, Harlow, admitted possessing thousands of indecent images of children and films involving violence and bestiality.

But he denied other charges of sexual assault, causing his victim to watch sexual activity and causing her to engage in sexual activity.

After being found guilty of those offences at Chemsford Crown Court on Friday, Belfast-born Black was branded “unscrupulous” and “a clear and dangerous liar” by judge Anthony Goldstaub.  

Caroline Gardiner, prosecuting, told the court Black first came to the attention of police after they were contacted by a woman who had talked to him on an internet chatline.

The woman told police she was worried about his paedophilic comments, claiming he had asked her to imagine they were naked on the bed surrounded by cots full of babies. He had then gone on to make sexual references.

Miss Gardiner said the woman was concerned about the content of the messages he sent and made a recording.

She had obtained Black’s telephone numbers and his address on the pretext she was going to write to him but then went to the authorities.

Miss Gardiner said when Black was originally visited by police he accepted he had been in possession of 40 indecent images and had received a police caution.

However, turning to the offences for which Black was subsequently convicted, she told the court: “On August  12, 2009 the mother of the young girl contacted the Child Abuse Investigating Unit, telling them she had seen an image of her daughter which exposed her genital area.

“On December 31, 2010 the girl came forward and provided a full statement to police. She said he [Black] told her to take a photo of herself without any clothes on and she would get a present, that he would take her to see Santa.”

Craig Rush, representing Black, said in mitigation there was evidence that the defendant was “quite troubled psychologically “ and was unable to face the full impact of what he had done.

Mr Rush argued the offences were  not at the level which would attract a higher sentence.

But the judge disagreed, telling Black: “The jury has convicted you on evidence that was overwhelming on a number of very serious offences.

“It’s been a disturbing trial; you have plainly abused the girl and in this court called her a liar.”

Speaking outside the court after Black was sentenced, the officer in charge of the case Danielle Markoutsis said: “This was a sensitive investigation involving a young girl who was taken advantage of and was abused.

“The victim was very brave in speaking out against her abuser and we would urge anyone who is being subjected to any form of abuse to come forward.”

In 2008 Black, who ran a computer consultancy business from his home, unsuccessfully stood for election to Harlow Council as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the Great Parndon ward.