June 2022

Cold case ‘monster’ who attacked Hull girl, 9, caught with 38,000 images of children

A devious and manipulative “monster” who became notorious when he was finally jailed more than 30 years after kidnapping and sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl was later caught with nearly 40,000 sickening images of children.

Perverted sex offender David Littlewood had a “distinct interest in children” and the vile images he had collected were branded “filthy and disgusting and degrading”.

The court was told that he, “ought to be hanging his head in “absolute disgust and shame” and he was a “deceitful” liar who repeatedly tried to talk his way out of trouble, Hull Crown Court heard.

Littlewood, 68, of Selby Street, Hull, admitted four offences of making indecent images of children between August 24 and November 21, 2019 and another of possessing extreme pornography involving bestiality.

Stephen Welch, prosecuting, said police went to Littlewood’s home and seized two laptops, a mobile phone and a tablet.

He pretended that one of the laptops belonged to a friend and that he recently found the other in a skip and it was broken, but the prosecution did not believe this.

All had indecent images of children on them, most of them on the laptops. “These were his devices and he was responsible for downloading the material on them,” said Mr Welch.

There were 3,113 still images and 1,209 moving ones in the most serious Category A Showing rape or torture of children

Littlewood also had 2,562 still images and 237 moving ones in Category B.

There were 31,511 still images and 242 moving ones in Category C.

The total images found was 38,874. “It was a large number of different victims,” said Mr Welch.

Littlewood’s convictions included 14 offences of possessing indecent photographs of children in February 2011.

He became notorious that year when he was jailed after admitting kidnapping and sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl more than 30 years earlier in 1979.

The victim later said: “He’s not a human being, he’s a monster.”

She had been riding her bicycle along a footpath near Ennerdale and the River Hull, where she was going to feed horses. Littlewood was wearing plastic bags on his hands when he stepped out and pulled her off her bicycle.

The case was reopened many years later by Humberside Police after a review of long-standing sexual cases.

Advances in forensic science meant a DNA profile could be matched to Littlewood, who was then living in Spring Bank West, Hull

Police searched his home and found more than 2,000 indecent images of children on a computer.

An original prison sentence of seven-and-a-half years in that case was reduced to five years on appeal, said Mr Welch.

Recorder Caroline Goodwin QC said that Littlewood had a “distinct interest in children” and had previous convictions for sexual assault and having indecent images. “He is a practised liar in covering up what he does,” said Recorder Goodwin. Littlewood had shown “deeply manipulative” behaviour through the “stories that he seeks to peddle”.

She told Littlewood: “You are a man with appalling distorted thinking. You are deceitful and you are manipulative.

You have an unhealthy and an unnatural interest in pornographic images of children as young as between two and four – filthy and disgusting and degrading imagery that you seem to find so attractive.

“You should, in that dock, be hanging your head with absolute disgust and shame,” she continued.

The children involved would suffer stress and anxiety that must be “mental torture” for them when they were used for “graphic” images for Littlewood’s “perverted delectation”.

But Recorder Goodwin added: “There is a glimmer of insight by you into your offending. You have begun to recognise that this type of behaviour is intolerable.”

Littlewood was given 30 days’ rehabilitation and 31 sessions of a probation service programme.

He was given a sexual harm prevention order for life and will have to register as a sex offender for life.