A ‘manipulative’ and ‘obsessive’ paedophile who paid a poor Filipino family to force their children to perform sex acts over the internet has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years.
Timothy Ford, 52, of Burghley Street, Kettering, faced 23 charges over two indictments, including several charges of making indecent images of a child, and arranging or facilitating the prostitution of a child.
Ford was in contact with a family in the Philippines who he would pay to arrange live ‘shows’ of young boys performing sexual acts – with the youngest being six years old.
Ford would watch this over Skype and record the footage, Northampton Crown Court heard on Monday.
He would also speak to the children over Yahoo Messenger and other internet chatrooms.
Mary Loram, prosecuting, told the court Ford was in contact with other paedophiles from across the world on the internet and he would share footage and advice with them over a file-sharing website.
Ford also had plans to buy a property in the Philippines, which would have been an internet cafe with accommodation above.
Mrs Loram added: “His plan was to use his internet cafe for a place for him, and others, to meet children.”
Mrs Loram added that wheelchair-bound Ford had encouraged other sexual offenders to get in contact with the family he exploited in the Philippines and had talked to them about his plans to buy a property.
He had even joked about the property with another paedophile who had asked him if it was going to be called “paedophiles’ vacations”.
Ford was arrested in June 2011 and was released on bail and was subsequently arrested again in May 2012.
The court heard how, even after his initial arrest, Ford had continued to record, and download, explicit videos and images of young children.
Several electronic items were seized from Ford’s home including two laptops, a PC tower and several recordable DVD disks.
More than 50 files were recovered from the disks, which was mainly footage recorded from a webcam, and several other images, videos and texts were discovered on the other electrical devices – including 648 indecent images of children aged between one and eight.
Ford received a suspended sentence for similar offences in 1992 and was jailed in 2001 after he was discovered with 24,000 indecent images of children, 450 videos and 3,000 explicit text documents.
Christopher Strachan, mitigating, told the court Ford now acknowledged that he ‘needs help’ and would try to change.
This was rejected by Judge Rupert Mayo as he passed sentence.
He told the court that he thought Ford had ‘exploited’ the poverty of his victims in the Philippines and his offending had ‘snowballed’ after his initial arrest in June 2011.
Judge Mayo told Ford he was: “Manipulative, obsessive and blinkered in your attitude towards prepubescent boys.”
He added: “There is no doubt in my mind that you do pose a significant risk.”
Judge Mayo sentenced Ford to eight-and-a-half years and imposed an extended licence period of six-and-a-half-years once he was released.
He told the court Ford would remain on a supervision order for the rest of his life and would have to serve at least two-thirds of the sentence before he could face a parole board.
He also ordered the seizure and destruction of the computer, laptops, computer devices, storage and recordable DVDs.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Eleri Neale, said: “I am satisfied with today’s sentence, which comes at the end of a long and protracted investigation into the illegal activities of Timothy Ford. The depth and breadth of his actions, demonstrated by the 23 serious charges he pleaded guilty to, clearly reveal that this man is a predatory child sex offender.
“Ford had the means to carry out a plan which was to use a property in the Philippines as a base for criminals to sexually abuse children. He is a voracious sex offender who has showed no remorse for his actions.
“The investigation of any child sexual abuse case isn’t an easy job but, for the victims, the effects stay with them for a lifetime. That is why it is imperative that everyone understands they have a responsibility to report any fears or concerns they have about child abuse to the Police.
“The force works closely with partner agencies to investigate child sexual abuse and anybody involved in this kind of activity should wait for a knock at their door; the only people more relentless than sex offenders are those that investigate them. There is help and advice available from the Stop It Now website for anyone concerned about possible abuse. Log on to www.stopitnow.org.uk for further information.”