Source: Filming Cops
A UK pedophile police officer who groomed his victim for more than a decade had been allowed to keep his job – despite being caught taking photographs of children eight years ago.
Disgraced Cambridgeshire Police sergeant Nick Lidstone, 55, of Barrington, Cambridgeshire admitted a series of rapes and child sex attacks relating to one victim at Norwich Crown Court last month.
But it emerged today Lidstone was arrested eight years ago for taking ‘up-skirt’ pictures of children with a spy pen in a branch of Tesco in Royston, Hertfordshire.
At the time he was given a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to a minor public order offence at North and East Hertfordshire Magistrates’ Court in 2005 – but all of his most serious abuse happened after this offence.
Because he was not charged with a sexual offence, his name was not placed on the sex offenders’ register.
He was allowed to keep his job and it was not until he admitted abusing a girl in court last month that he was dismissed from his role at the force’s headquarters.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, reported the years of abuse – which culminated in being raped as an adult – earlier this year.
A court heard Lidstone’s abuse of the girl escalated and all of the most serious attacks happened after his arrest for the photos.
Sentencing him to 14 and a half years in prison, Judge Anthony Bate said he had used his victim as a ‘sexual toy’.
He placed Lidstone on the sex offenders’ register for life.
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.