Rapist David Stephens back behind bars over vile child sex abuse images

A convicted rapist has been ordered back to prison after police found vile child sex abuse images on his computer.

David Stephens Brof adford on Avon was jailed for life in 1999 after he was convicted of five rapes and a series of sexual assaults on children.

The Wiltshire paedophile was released on licence in 2012.

But now he’s been sent back inside after detectives found 49 sickening images, including some showing children as young as five being molested.

Sentencing the 64-year-old to a further eight months imprisonment for three counts of making indecent images of children, Judge Peter Crabtree said: “Anyone who engages in downloading child sexual abuse images is involved in fuelling a business which results in those children being the subject of psychological and harm – sometimes over many, many years.”

Stephens’ long history with the courts began in 1971. In 1984 he was accused of presiding over a reign of terror in Chippenham, where he lived at the time, by committing 37 burglaries and thefts from clothes lines – taking women’s underwear and children’s clothing to satisfy a sick lust.

Stephens also stole documents and photographs belonging to the women from whom he stole, using them to compile dossiers on his victims.

In 1999, he was convicted at Swindon Crown Court of a series of five rapes and eight other assaults, including on girls under-13. His jail term was bumped up to life imprisonment by appeal court justices. He was released in April 2012.

Under his licence conditions, registered sex offender Stephens was prevented from having access to electronic devices capable of accessing the internet – except where police gave the go-ahead.

Acting on a tip-off, police officers raided Stephens’ home on August 28. They seized a number of electronic items including a Dell computer.

A forensic trawl of the computer found Stephens had downloaded indecent images of children the day before and had deleted them on the morning of the raid.

Evidence pointed to Stephens searching for terms like “barely legal”.

Stephens, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.

Alistair Haggerty, defending, said his client had made full admissions, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was remorseful.

Seven years had passed without incident since Stephens was released from prison on licence, he added. By comparison to many similar cases that come before the courts, Stephens was in possession of relatively few indecent images.