February 2021

Paedophile who raped girl nearly 40 times rolls eyes at judge as he’s jailed

A paedophile rolled his eyes at a judge as he was jailed for 24 years after raping a young girl almost 40 times.

Leonard Wood’s victim reported the abuse, which spanned a decade, when she was older but he claimed she had instigated the attacks.

But when police searched his home they found incriminating evidence

The search of his home revealed camcorder cassettes in the loft – including one that appeared to have been destroyed.

And when a detective managed to repair the old cassette, it showed Wood had filmed himself raping and molesting the child.

Wood, of Bark Road, Litherland, admitted only two offences – counts of making indecent photographs of a child.

They related to two recordings, which he claimed showed consensual sexual activity when the girl was 16 or 17

He denied other offences and claimed the abuse on the video related to one occasion when the girl was above the age of consent.

However, police were able to prove this was a lie by highlighting different clothing worn by Wood and the girl, different lighting and different décor in the background on the two clips suggested otherwise, while the victim said she was aged between 13 and 15.

David Polglase, prosecuting, said in one clip, a song could be heard playing in the background – perhaps on a TV or radio – followed by adverts for movies.

He said when the track was released and those films were in the cinema, the girl was only 14.

Wood told the jury that was just a coincidence and he used to record songs, then play them back, so he could learn to play them for his band.

He claimed it had been the girl’s idea to film the videos and said he didn’t know how the cassette came to be smashed and secreted away in his loft.

Wood was found guilty of 11 counts of rape.

They related to at least 36 separate rapes, including one when she was 11 or 12, and others from the age of 13 to when she was a young adult.

He was convicted of three counts of indecent assault, which related to at least 11 attacks, when she was aged 11 to 13.

In a victim impact statement the woman said: “I never had a childhood I was supposed to have.”

Wood, who has one conviction for benefit fraud in 2004, showed no emotion as the statement was read out.

Judge Brandon told him: “It’s not an overstatement to say your actions had a devastating impact upon her for decades and she continues to suffer the consequences of the harm you did to her.”

Wood rolled his eyes as the judge jailed him for 24 years, with an extended one year on licence as “an offender of particular concern”.

He must spend at least two thirds of the sentence – 16 years – behind bars.