August 2011

Paedophile’s 172 lessons fail to control sick sex urges

A SERIAL paedophile who attended more than 170 lessons to stop his attraction to young girls has been jailed again for downloading child porn on to his computer.

And a court heard that John Tooby deliberately befriended women with school-age daughters only months after the licence from his previous prison term expired.

Police found 957 graphic images on the 47-year-old’s home computer and he admitted he was sexually attracted to young girls.

Jailing him for four years, Judge John Burgess told Tooby, from Alvaston, that he was “a danger” to children.

Derby Crown Court was told that Tooby had previously attended 172 treatment sessions with experts to tackle his attraction to under-age girls.

It is understood the sessions looked at the impact his offences had on his victims and attempted to reduce his compulsions.

But Judge Burgess said he had no doubt that Tooby was still a “significant risk to young girls” and was “likely to cause them serious psychological harm.”

The court was told that Tooby had a long history of committing sexual offences.

He was convicted of two counts of indecent exposure in 1981 and in 1990 he was jailed for two-and-a-half years for six counts of gross indecency with a child.

Then in 2004 he was convicted of indecent assault on a girl under 14 and having indecent photographs of children. He also had convictions for indecent assault of a nine-year-old girl and another aged between 10 and 12.

Judge Burgess referred to a probation report which said Tooby was “a high risk of sexual reoffending” and described him as “manipulative with a lack of consideration for the consequences of his actions”.

After being freed from his last prison term, Tooby remained on licence until last August but the court was told that by December he had begun downloading child porn again at his London Road home.

He had also made friends with a number of women who had young daughters.

Judge Burgess accepted Tooby had not committed offences against these girls but said he had deliberately “put temptation in his way” – something experts had tried to train him to avoid.

Tooby admitted 10 charges of having indecent images and one of extreme pornography. His collection included movies of the most serious category.

The judge said: “Some of these incorporate sound and I have had the misfortune to have to watch samples.

“These were images of young children being abused in the most appalling way and you were deriving sexual satisfaction from them.

“Those images would not be on the internet if it were not for people like you.

“You regularly downloaded this material for your sexual gratification.”

The images were discovered after police checked Tooby’s computer.

Faye Mellor, prosecuting, said some images came from chatrooms and others from Russian websites.

“He used the images for his sexual gratification,” said Miss Mellor.

“He said he was mainly interested in pre-pubescent children and used the images to quench his sexual appetite.”

Jailing Tooby for four years, Judge Burgess said he would only be able to apply for parole halfway through the sentence – and may remain in prison indefinitely.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Clive Stockwell, in mitigation, said that, since his release, Tooby had only missed one of the sessions and had downloaded the pictures rather than abusing children directly.

“Since he was released, he has not committed contact offences,” said Mr Stockwell.

Some of Tooby’s treatment was carried out through the NSPCC’s Dove project.

The charity works with Derbyshire Probation Service to run the lessons for child-sex offenders and deals with about 30 men each year.

Dave Matthews, children’s services manager for the project, said the programme had changed since Tooby had been through it – with emphasis now on offenders planning for the future.

But he said both old and new programmes had been designed to complement other treatment sessions given to offenders. The old programme would have involved 20 sessions lasting 50 hours, while the new programme runs over 15 sessions at 37-and-a-half hours.

Mr Matthews said: “Whilst no programme can guarantee that men will not reoffend and it is hard to define what exactly is success in these cases, around 90% of offenders who attend this programme are not reconvicted of sexual offences.”

“But if there’s no motivation to change, any programme is unlikely to be successful.We can support the offenders and use their motivation but they are free agents to make their own choices. We try to give them all the information they need to make those healthy choices.

“It’s always disappointing when someone is reconvicted and we do get affected by it because we want to make a difference to those men and those around them.”

The Dove Project has a contract with Derbyshire Probation Service to run the treatment sessions. Neither organisation would say how much it cost.