A paedophile policeman who was allowed to keep his job despite being caught taking ‘up-skirt’ photos of children has been jailed for rape and child sex attacks.
Twisted Nick Lidstone, 55, was jailed for 14-and-a-half years today after he admitted committing the vile crimes on one victim.
The disgraced former Cambridgeshire Police sergeant admitted the rapes and child sex attacks on the one victim at Norwich Crown Court
Sentencing him, Judge Anthony Bate said he had used his victim as a “sexual toy” and he placed Lidstone on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Today it was revealed that the vile paedophile was arrested eight years ago for taking “up-skirt” pictures of children with a spy camera.
The court heard how following this crime, Lidstone’s abuse of the victim in this current case escalated, leading to his most serious attacks on her.
At his sentencing today, Judge Bate slammed a decision to only give him a conditional discharge in 2005 for the crime of photographing children. Because he was not charged with a sexual offence, his name was not placed on the sex offenders’ register.
He said: “You have one previous conviction which has two worrying aspects: firstly, the nature of the offence and secondly, the fact you were convicted under public order legislation when quite clearly these were serious sexual offences.
“You had armed yourself with a covert camera and were found taking pictures of children. Why on earth you were not charged under the sexual offences act, I do not know. Whoever took that decision, it allowed you to carry on as a police officer.”
The judge added that because he was convicted of a public order offence, nobody had looked more closely at Lidstone’s relationship with children and a chance to detect his abuse was missed.
Despite undergoing therapy to address his sexual deviancy, Lidstone carried on abusing his victim who suffered significant psychological harm.
Judge Bate said that Lidstone’s apparent cooperation with therapy showed how he was able to “manipulate experts” into believing he had an ordinary sex life.
It was not until last month when he admitted the abuse that he was dismissed from his role at the force’s headquarters
after 30 years of service.
Prosecutor Andrew Shaw said the pictures taken in 2005 were of “young children” and there was some doubt over whether the worst of the images were found.
Kerry Broome, mitigating, said Lidstone had agreed to undergo counselling in order to keep his job. His role with the police had not involved regular contact with children.
Lidstone, from Barrington in Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to 13 offences
– including three counts of rape, three counts of indecency with a child, various sexual assaults and taking an indecent photograph of a child – in November this year. He denied six other counts, which were left to lie on file.
Mr Shaw told the court Lidstone started grooming the girl when she was nine. He would expose himself to her, show her pornography and take indecent photographs.
“This was serious sexual assault,” Mr Shaw said. “The abuse was more or less continuous and culminated in rape when she was a young adult.”
His victim was unable to make a statement to the court, saying she was so distressed that even the thought of it made her physically sick while one witness who knew the victim described how her life had been “ruined”.
Dressed in a black suit, Lidstone broke down in tears in the dock as details of his abuse were read out.
Referring to the latest offences, Miss Broome said her client had been “infatuated”. She said that, with expert help, there was no reason he should pose any further danger to the public.
“He is very well aware of the shame he has brought on the police force and his 30 years of service are over,” Miss Broome said.
Speaking after Lidstone was dismissed last month, Deputy Chief Constable Alec Wood said: “This was an appalling crime where the victim was put through a horrendous ordeal over a prolonged period.”