Liverpool

Paedophile Derek Skardon who abused girl in garage jailed

A paedophile who sexually abused a six-year-old girl in a lock-up garage in Liverpool and shared images of it online has been jailed for life.

Derek Skardon, 44, of Liverpool, admitted 35 sexual offences against the girl, including rape, at an earlier hearing at the city's crown court.

On Thursday, a judge ordered he serve a minimum term of seven years.

Skardon was caught by police after a tip-off from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

'Insidious nature'

CEOP had become aware of his online activity from one of its partners internationally, it said.

Skardon - described as a "highly dangerous and manipulative individual" - admitted a further 16 offences, relating to distributing indecent photos of children over the internet.

Det Ch Insp John Armstrong, of Merseyside Police, said: "This investigation was a complex and at times difficult inquiry for my team.

"It was made very difficult by the insidious and manipulative nature of Skardon, who went to great lengths to keep his offending secret.

"I am hopeful that the brave child involved in this case will now go on to enjoy a normal childhood free from the clutches of this highly dangerous and manipulative individual.

He added: "Skardon's conviction should also serve as a reminder to other offenders who seek to sexually prey on children - the police will use every resource available to uncover this type of offending and will result in dangerous sex offenders going to prison for a very long time".

'Most depraved'

Samantha Merrett, of CEOP, said: "Upon receipt of information about an individual who was suspected of abusing children within the UK from one of our international partners, CEOP staff worked closely with officers at Merseyside Police to identify Derek Skardon and protect a vulnerable young victim.

"CEOP works with law enforcement agencies, both nationally and internationally, to ensure that those who pose a risk to children are dealt with in the most appropriate way.

"I hope this sentence shows that no matter where or how you sexually abuse or exploit children, law enforcement agencies will leave no stone unturned to hold child sex offenders to account."

District crown prosecutor Janet Potter added: "This a truly dreadful case where a vulnerable young child suffered the most depraved of sexual offences, inflicted by the defendant, who would then share images with others via the internet."

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