April 2022

Cheshire paedophile ‘bragged’ online about taking explicit photos of child

Winsford Guardian: Craig Crowther

A pervert from Cheshire who sexually assaulted a sleeping child and shared indecent images he had taken online has been jailed for four years and four months.

Craig Crowther, 31, was identified by National Crime Agency investigators as username ‘craggy2014’ who, on numerous occasions, discussed his sexual interest in children with who he believed were other paedophiles online.

In May 2020, Crowther, of Tilstone Close, Northwich, told an undercover police officer posing as another user that he likes to ‘get involved’ with children, and had access to a child who he had sexually abused.

Frances Willmott, prosecuting in Chester Crown Court, said he even shared indecent images of the child in order to get accepted into an online paedophile group.

The court heard how on July 15, 2020, he had conversations with an undercover FBI officer and shared 10 images of children, even encouraging the officer, who he believed was another user, to take pictures of a child and send them to him.

Crowther bragged he had taken a sexually explicit photo of a sleeping child who he had sexually assaulted and also admitted to videoing the child but then deleting it immediately, knowing it was wrong.   

Crowther was arrested in July 2021 where 56 indecent images of children were found on his phone between categories A and C, including some of him sexually assaulting a child.

When NCA officers arrested Crowther, he made a number of comments including, ‘my life is over’, ‘nobody knows, ‘I’ve been expecting you’, ‘I know what I’ve done and what I’ve been on’ and ‘I got no sexual gratification from it’.

He was charged with three counts of assault of a child under 13 by touching, three counts of making indecent images of a child (ranging from category A-C), two counts of taking indecent images (category B and C) and two counts of distributing category C indecent images.

Crowther pleaded guilty to all the charges on February 11 this year at Chester Magistrates’ Court.

Defending, Brian Treadwell, told the court his client did express remorse for his actions and accepted full responsibility.

Crowther was sentenced to four years and four months in prison at Chester Crown Court today, April 14.

Once released, he will remain on licence for four years, as well as being subject to a lifetime sexual harm prevention order and placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Sentencing, Judge Patrick Thompson said: “You made it clear in conversations that you have an unhealthy interest in young children.”

He added that his explanations for his behaviour in his pre-sentence report were ‘full of denial’, one of those being that he only shared images online to catch out other paedophiles – a claim which the judge dismissed.

“It seems to me that you are not prepared to accept the reality that you are a paedophile,” Judge Thompson told him.

“I am afraid children must be protected from men like you.”