Criminals who target and abuse the vulnerable appear before judges almost every day at the courts across Essex. But among the violent offenders can be disturbing individuals who will try to take advantage and sexually abuse others, possibly including young people.
When appearing in court, the extent of their offending will be read allowed for us all, the media and the public, to know. In some instances, victims will bravely deliver powerful testimonies on how defendants have impacted their lives.
Some sexual offenders are locked up for a lengthy time, others will face months behind bars or even told to serve their sentence in the community, undertaking unpaid work and programmes aimed at helping them overcome their desires.
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Here are the Essex sex offenders who have appeared in court so far this year that parents ought to be aware of.
The disturbing Baldwin, of Blackmore End in Braintree, engaged in lurid sexual chats with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Frank Baldwin sent the vile messages to a decoy profile online, including probing whether she “had had a boy between her legs yet”.
Baldwin, 48, started talking to the girl, who was actually a decoy from an online child activist group, in January 2021. He told her he liked her profile picture and made inappropriate comments about her body and the clothes and underwear she was wearing.
He sent pornographic images and videos to her in conversations which ran into the summer of 2021. In August of that year, members of an online child activist group confronted him at an allotment in Chippenham, East Cambridgeshire. Cambridge Police were called and Baldwin was arrested at the scene.
At Peterborough Crown Court on May 12, he was jailed for two years and two months having already admitted attempting to incite a girl under 16 to engage in penetrative sexual activity and attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.
Matt Rivett is a “prolific” sex abuser who ruined the lives of four children during nearly 20 years of sexual offending. Rivett, 44, of Stokefelde in Pitsea, abused four children in Pitsea and Canvey Island between 2002 and 2019.
The abuse came to light when some of the offences were reported to Essex Police in 2020. Further allegations were reported the following year. As the investigation continued, one of the survivors disclosed Rivett had filmed some of the abuse.
He was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment on March 24. He will serve two thirds of that sentence in custody.
The manipulative Bliss accused his victim of lying whilst being investigated for sexually assaulting a girl several times in Harlow. John Bliss, from Gwent in Wales, was found guilty of seven sexual offences against a child.
Essex Police opened an investigation in 2020 when a girl contacted them reporting multiple sexual assaults in Harlow. Bliss, 43, continually denied the offences when he was arrested.
He was then charged with rape, five counts of sexual assault, and causing a child to engage in sexual activity. He was also issued with a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order in addition to his sentence.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said she has “constant anxiety which feels like it’s never going away” and that she doesn’t enjoy staying away from home as she feels “at risk”.
Investigating officer, Sgt Gemma Mariner said “Bliss’ actions on this vulnerable victim were evil and even once he was arrested, he didn’t have the decency to admit what he’d done, resulting in victim and her family being accused of lying.” He has been jailed for 15 years.
This sex offender covertly recorded women and children with hidden cameras on water bottles and stored more than 12,000 indecent images of children.
Dean Gordon, 41, of Rosewood Court in Leytonstone, had numerous hidden cameras on objects such as bottles and coat hooks to secretly record people in states of undress. He admitted three counts of making and ten counts of taking indecent images of children; possession of extreme pornographic images and possession of a prohibited image of a child.
The court heard that Gordon covertly recorded the children naked or semi-naked. In one case, he sexually abused a young girl whilst she lay asleep and recorded himself abusing her. He also covertly recorded multiple women naked as well.
More than 200 exhibits were seized and officers conducted months’ long trawl of every single digital device to uncover victims and his abuse. A number of child and adult female victims were located who had no idea they had been secretly recorded by him.
In total, Gordon had 12,529 indecent images of children, including over 2,000 of the most serious Category A images. This included 436 images of the numerous child victims he covertly recorded for his own sexual gratification. Gordon, who also admitted sexually assaulting a young girl and six counts of voyeurism, was sentenced to six years and eight months in jail.
The “sickening” Wood was jailed after hundreds of hours of “harrowing” sexual abuse footage was found on his devices. Alex Wood, 29, of Harlow, was found to have more than 2,200 moving images showing child sexual abuse, including more than 1,200 of the highest Category A. One disturbing video involved the abuse of a baby aged between just two and three months.
Specialist officers executed a warrant at his address on February 5, seizing four devices. There were 16 still images of Category A abuse, as well as 792 moving and 27 still images at Category B, alongside 268 moving and 56 still images at Category C.
Overall, officers graded and categorised more than 100 hours of footage. Wood was charged with and later admitted to three counts of making indecent images of children.
He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment. He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years and will be the subject of a ten-year sexual harm prevention order monitoring his use of devices.
A PE primary school teacher who was described as having “an addiction” to indecent images of children has been banned from teaching indefinitely and a suspended prison sentence.
Michael Fogg, 32, was convicted of two counts of distributing an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child, three counts of making an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child, and one offence of possessing extreme pornographic images at Chelmsford Crown Court on February 23.
He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, which was suspended for 18 months, a 30-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, 150 hours of unpaid work and a 7-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
The despicable Wakefield “forced” his victims to relive their abuse and give evidence in a trial at Basildon Crown Court. Wakefield, 51, of Chelmsford, was sentenced for 13 sexual offences in connection to two victims over a six year period.
Wakefield received ten years in prison for the rape of one girl and a further three years for causing/inciting another girl to engage in sexual activity. Following his conviction, he has also been made a registered sex offender and issued a Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning him from going near children.
DC James Fowler from the Child Abuse Investigation Team said: “Patrick Wakefield has been rightly jailed for his despicable actions. He acted in a completely abhorrent way towards his two victims, including forcing them to give evidence at his trial by denying any wrongdoing.”
This sex offender was brought to face justice after a brave girl stood up to him and his offending.
McCarthy, 43, of South Ockendon, was arrested following allegations made against him at the end of 2020. His 15-count indictment included five counts of raping a child, plus sexual assault, inciting a child to watch sexual activity and sexual activity with a child.
McCarthy initially confessed his crimes to police when he was arrested, but later tried to retract them, claiming he “didn’t know” why he said it. He officially denied the charges in court, and maintained his not-guilty plea for a full year, forcing his victim to come into court and go through a pre-recorded cross-examination where it was put to her that she was lying about the abuse she had suffered.
McCarthy later changed his pleas to guilty in January this year and was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Wednesday (March 8). Prosecuting, Christopher Kerr said that initially, McCarthy had claimed his victim had asked for the activity, before accepting guilt. He told the court that on several occasions McCarthy paid his victim following the abuse, including payments of £100 after one incident.
Mr Kerr said that on one occasion McCarthy had offered the victim £500 for sexual activity but she declined. He continued: “He made a lot of admissions, but in January 2021 he tried to retract those admissions, contacting the OIC [officer in charge] and said he didn’t know why he said those things.”
The court heard that the victim eventually found the courage to tell a friend at school about what she had endured, and her friend encouraged her to tell her mother. She did so, and McCarthy was arrested soon after.
In her victim impact statement, McCarthy’s victim said she suffers regular flashbacks to what happened to her, and feels she can’t function as a normal child.
She said: “I don’t feel like these thoughts will ever leave me, no matter how many times I get told it’s not my fault. I often have nightmares, usually about him. I was offered counselling but I declined because I just don’t want to talk about it with anyone. I feel very uncomfortable around men.
“My self-confidence is at zero. I don’t want him to hurt anyone else the way he hurt me. What he has done has ruined my life with worries and fears I should never have to live with.”
The judge gave McCarthy a 19-year extended sentence including 16 years and two months in jail, with two years and ten months on licence. He must serve at least two-thirds of his prison sentence before being eligible for parole.
Miles, 32, of Harris Green in Dunmow, preyed on a woman during a night out and raped her. He was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in Dunmow. In March, he was sentenced to four years in prison and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
Detective Constable Jon Nottage said: “Miles is a cruel man, on the night he preyed on a woman who believed she would be safe in his company. He did not admit his guilt at any point and maintained everything that happened on the night was consensual and instigated by the woman.
“The Jury expertly navigated through the evidence and found him guilty of rape, and today, he now faces his foreseeable future behind bars.”
A vile rapist sexually assaulted a woman while she slept after a night out, fleeing the scene when she woke up and screamed.
Western’s victim now lives with severe depression and anxiety following the rape in September 2018, and struggles to leave the house. She has had to endure years of waiting and delays due to the Covid pandemic but now, almost five years after she was attacked, Western, 24, of Edward Paxman Gardens, Colchester, has been jailed.
He was convicted of rape following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, where he tried to claim the sex had been consensual. The victim had been on a night out with friends in Colchester in September 2018, returning to a flat as the night drew to a close.
After she was put to bed, she awoke suddenly to find Western raping her. She screamed, before Western jumped off her and fled the flat. Essex Police were contacted and arrested the defendant the next day, identifying several key witnesses.
In his interview with police, Western tried to claim the sex was consensual, but a jury saw through his story. In a statement read to the court, the victim said the attack had impacted hugely on “every aspect” of her life. She said: “Since this happened I started to suffer from night terrors.
“I never used to have issues sleeping, now when I have a night terror I start to drift off to sleep, I will jolt awake with the memory of Shaun on top of me. It would make me feel breathless and panicky.” She said the attack had impacted on her ability to work and shattered her social life, adding she has since been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.”
Western was jailed for six years and six months and will be subject to an indefinite restraining order and will remain on the sex offender’s register for life.
A police officer who carried out a “shocking and appalling” sexual assault on a child at an Essex party has been sent to prison. Farhan Ghadiali, 44, was not on duty at the time of the incident.
Ghadiali, of Fyfield Road, Woodford Green, was charged with sexual assault of a child by touching following an incident at a party in 2019. The 44-year-old, who has since been dismissed without notice, was off-duty at the time of the incident and later found guilty of sexual assaulting a child after a re-trial. The jury took just 2.5 hours to come to their unanimous guilty verdict.
Kate Davey, prosecuting, said that the girl had been “traumatised at every level”, “cries a lot, she’s very scared” and has “self-harmed because of this”. She told a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday that Ghadiali, who had no previous convictions, “had been drinking heavily that day.”
Judge Christopher Morgan told Ghadiali: “This was a serious offence against a very young child”. He said that the offence had “caused her profound psychological issues.”
He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
A man convicted of raping another man after leading him to a Chelmsford alleyway was jailed for eight and a half years. Luke Bennett, 29, of Townsend in Springfield, Chelmsford, walked the unknown man to an alleyway off Baddow Road and raped and sexually assaulted him.
He then called for an ambulance and waited with the victim, in their 20s, before leaving when the paramedics arrived. He was arrested nearby a few hours later and charged with rape and assault.
He was convicted of the charges and sent to prison. He was also made subject of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and will be a registered sex offender indefinitely.