Paedophile labelled ‘depraved’ filmed himself sexually assaulting a baby

A “depraved” paedophile filmed himself sexually assaulting a baby. Gareth Andrew Davis, 43, was given a life sentence after his “despicable” crimes were uncovered. Davis, of Ashridge Street in Runcorn, was arrested after the National Crime Agency (NCA) found indecent images on a Google account in his name.

NCA investigators suspected that Davis featured among the 512 images of child abuse. A warrant was subsequently executed at Davis’ home address, prosecutor Cheryl Mottram said at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday. Davis was subsequently arrested and his Samsung phone was seized by officers, the Liverpool ECHO reports.

: Driver ‘couldn’t see’ dad-of-three before he was crushed to death by 18-ton truck When being questioned, Davis gave “no comment” answers to officers’ questions. Enquiries then established that among the materials seized were images of Davis himself abusing a baby.

One photograph was also identified as an image that Davis had taken secretly of a naked child on a beach in North Wales. Messages on WhatsApp also showed that Davis had shared some of the images with “a male in the North East”, and had been active in a chat room discussing abuse. His depraved collection also featured about 600 pictures of him simulating sexual abuse with a child’s baby doll including with his “hand round the neck simulating strangulation”.

A judge branded Davis ‘depraved, disgusting, despicable’

These did not form part of the charges against him but were later referred to as evidence of an additional “violent” risk posed by paedophile Davis.

He pleaded guilty at his plea hearing at Chester Crown Court on December 3 last year to rape of a child under 13, sexual assault by penetration of a child under 13, and three counts of making indecent images: 36 of the most heinous type Category A, 382 Category B and 94 Category C. Five further counts were ordered to lie on file. Ms Mottram read harrowing victim personal statements submitted by the rape victim’s mother and the beach image victim’s mother.

Davis had no previous convictions but Judge Steven Everett, Recorder of Chester, said this could not be used as mitigation for Davis as he had used his supposed “good character” as means to have access to commit abuse. During discussions over types of sentence, Judge Everett compared the case with that of former Lostprophets rock musician Ian Watkins who was convicted of abuse in 2014 and given a 35-year sentence, comprising 29 years in prison plus six on extended licence. Judge Everett said Davis’s “troubling” imagery of himself simulating strangulation meant “alarm bells are truly ringing”.

He told the court: “They cause me real concern, not just of a sexual nature, a sexual nature is bad enough, but real concern that he’s a double danger in that regard.” He opted not to impose a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) because of the “long time” Davis would inevitably serve in prison and on life licence. The judge said psychiatric and probation reports found Davis had no mental illness as medically defined.

Instead, Davis had sought to “minimise” his vile acts and claimed Covid-19 lockdown isolation left feeling lonely and keen to comply with requests from other sick individuals. Judge Everett dismissed that as “arrant nonsense” because the crimes began before the pandemic. Paul Becker, appearing on behalf of the defence, said he did not want “the public gallery to think I’m in any way condoning what occurred which are disgraceful and wicked offences to a very young baby”, and said it would be “ludicrous” to argue Davis should not be classed as dangerous following his “horrendous” crimes.

He argued mitigation for Davis’s early guilty pleas, lack of previous convictions, work history and “feelings of humiliation, worthlessness” and “some remorse”. Mr Becker said the risk posed to the public by David would reduce while he was in custody. He said: “The defendant in custody has gained some education, maths and English.

“He holds a trusted position as a mentor, he’s working as a wing cleaner, he’s gone on a mental health course to address emotions and anxiety.” The judge said a life sentence was “wholly inevitable”. Judge Everett passed a life sentence, comprising a 27-year prison term with life licence – meaning Davis can be recalled to prison if he breaches his release conditions. Sentencing Davis, he said: “What you’ve pleaded guilty to is the most serious case I’ve had to deal with concerning serious sexual offences.

“It’s the most serious case I’ve dealt with in 40 years or more as a solicitor, barrister and then judge. I’ve not come across a case as serious as this. It’s of the extremest seriousness.

It’s depraved, disgusting, despicable. I could go on. “It’s difficult in fact to describe just how bad this case is and what a terrible effect it’s had on so many people.” He added: “You got caught fortunately because I’ve no doubt had you not been caught you would have continued to be an extreme danger to children, (a victim) and others.

“You should understand that some of the matters you put forward to the psychiatrist and probation officer, I utterly reject.” Commenting on Davis’s potential for violence, Judge Everett said: “You harboured those terrible views towards young children and I’m satisfied you harbour not just views of a sexual nature but of an extremely violent nature including murder. “I’m quite satisfied you harbour those views.

These views came out in an awful way.” The judge ordered a statutory surcharge and for Davis’s sick images to be “locked away securely” by the police so that “the parole board should have the opportunity to see at the time if it arises of your potential release – the parole board should have the opportunity of assessing your awful deeds for themselves when assessing whether you are likely to be released”. Mr Becker contested that Davis will have to serve two thirds before release and said that level of minimum term served applied to violent offences but it would be half for Davis.

The judge said this would not affect the 27-year life sentence. Sign up to the Mancunian Way newsletter to get an in depth look at the biggest stories from our region every weekday What is happening where you live?

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