‘It was a get out of jail free card’ Rushden paedophile boasts suspended sentence had ‘no effect’

Christopher English
Christopher English
  • Christopher English said suspended sentence was ‘get out of jail free card’
  • He breached the terms of his court order within less than a year
  • Teenage girl from care home found in his car when stopped by police
  • The 25-year-old has now been been given a three-year jail sentence

A paedophile who was caught with dozens of indecent photographs of young girls less than a year after he was convicted of inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity said a suspended jail sentence had ‘no effect’ on his behaviour.

Christopher English, aged 25, of Church Hall Road, Rushden, appeared at Northampton Crown Court charged with possessing 61 indecent images of young girls, some as young as 13 years old.

Christopher English

Christopher English

The court heard that in October 2013 English was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, after he admitted blackmailing a young girl he met on Facebook to send a photograph of herself in her underwear.

English was also given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) that banned him from using the internet to contact anyone under the age of 16 or taking any photographs of children.

But, less than a year later, a car being driven by English in the early hours of the morning was stopped by a Northants Police officer and his passenger was a teenage girl.

English admitted that he was not allowed to be alone in the company of anyone under the age of 16 but claimed the girl had told him she was 17 years old.

Andrew Howarth, prosecuting, said English was arrested and a laptop in the vehicle was seized for analysis.

Five months later, in February this year, English was charged with possessing 76 indecent photographs and videos of children.

Mr Howarth said 59 folders were found with different girls’ names which had been saved from the Snapchat photo sharing site.

English subsequently pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing indecent images of children and breaching the terms of his SOPO.

Maxine Krone, mitigating, said English had been “very frank” in his views of his previous sentence.

Ms Krone said: “He viewed it as a get out of jail free card and it did not deter him from offending in any way.

“He has now spent a spell in custody and that is going to deter him. He does not like that at all.”

Recorder Adrienne Lucking QC described English as a “predatory paedophile”.

She said: “You were given a suspended sentence order in the expectation you would comply with that order.

“You would have been told in no uncertain terms that if you breached the terms you would be sent to prison.

“The purpose of that order was to prevent you from committing sexual offences against children but, in under a year, that is exactly what you did.

“Whatever you were a year ago, you clearly are now a predatory paedophile.

“You very frankly said to the court you viewed your suspended sentence as a ‘get out of jail free card’. I will tell you now that was not the spirit in which it was imposed.”

English was sentenced to 12 months in prison for possession of the indecent photographs and 20 months for breaching the SOPO. He must also serve his eight-month suspended sentence so the total sentence was one of three years and four months in jail.

He must also pay £120 victim surcharge.