Abuser filmed sex acts with girl, 14

Jeni Harvey

A PAEDOPHILE who made films of himself sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl at his South Yorkshire home has been handed a five-year prison sentence.

Paul Barry Craft, 41, “groomed” the teenager after befriending her when she was just 13, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

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Jailing him for five years, Judge Annabel Carr QC said: “You groomed this young woman who was little more than a child.

“You harmed her and ruined her teenage years. Your conduct was wicked. You engaged for your own gratification in sexual acts with her.

“You were well aware of her age, having been informed by her mother and served with abduction notices by the police.

“I regard these repeated acts of sexual abuse as extremely harmful to her and you will have caused her long-term difficulties.”

The court heard that Craft, of St Mary’s Road in Goldthorpe, Barnsley, had been warned by the girl’s mother to keep away from the teenager.

Rachel Harrison, prosecuting, said he was served with two abduction notices by the police, in November 2008 and January 2009, which stated the girl’s age.

When he was arrested in March, Craft claimed he thought she was 17.

When officers seized a laptop, digital camera and video camera from Craft’s home, they found four home-made films showing Craft and the girl involved in sexual activity. He claimed the four films had all been made on the same day – before he knew her true age.

But the police investigation revealed that the films were made on four different occasions after Craft had been served with the abduction notices.

Craft, who admitted four counts of sexual activity with a child and four of taking indecent photographs of a child, claimed the girl told him she was 17, and stopped the relationship when she revealed her true age.

Robert Smith, defending, said Craft had been abused himself as a child and had become depressed after the breakdown of his marriage three years ago.