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BREAKING: ‘Predatory paedophile’ jailed for Castleford child sex attacks

Samuel Smith, 29, of Greek Street, Castleford.

Samuel Smith, 29, of Greek Street, Castleford.

 

A ‘predatory paedophile’ used a dog and an Etch a Sketch toy to befriend little girls in Castleford before sexually assaulting them, a court heard.

Samuel Smith, 29, of Greek Street, Castleford, was sentenced to seven years in prison at Leeds Crown Court today after carrying out a string of sexual assaults on girls aged between four and seven over three consecutive days in May 30, 31 and June 1 this year.

The court heard Smith was already on bail for an earlier attack in Leeds when he targeted girls as they were playing out in the streets and parks in the Smawthorne area of Castleford.

Smith was arrested again on June 6 this year and found to have more than 16,000 images of children on computers at his home.

He also pleaded guilty to 12 offences of possessing or making indecent images of children.

Rupert Dodswell, prosecuting, told the court on one occasion Smith, who had a dog, approached two girls in a park in Castleford and let them play on an Etch A Sketch toy.

Mr Dodswell said Smith played with the girls and told them he would buy them sweets.

Smith tried to get the girls to escort him to a secluded area of the park but only one of the girls did.

The court heard the girl, aged six, let out a “blood curdling scream” when he later sexually assaulted her.

Smith’s lawyer Andrew Walker read out a letter to the court on his client’s behalf.

Smith described how his actions towards to the children were “abhorrent”.

The letter also stated: “I am disgusted and sickened for my actions. I want to personally apologise to the victims and their families so they might have closure.”

Jailing Smith, Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “It is perfectly obvious to me that each of these occasions was planned and in some of them you went equipped in order to attach yourself to children with the use of a dog. These offences have had a psychological affect, not only on the children but also on the parents.

After the case Insp Dave Bugg, of Castleford neighbourhood policing team, said: “Smith’s actions caused real distress among residents in Castleford and I want to thank residents for keeping calm during our enquiries to find him in what was a very testing time.”

Det Sgt Sarah Fraser, of the Wakefield Safeguarding Unit, said: “We welcome the conviction today of Smith who is clearly a predatory paedophile and a real danger to children.

“He was located and arrested following a large scale operation in Castleford and I would also like to thank at those residents who came forward at the time with information and assistance. I also want to praise the courage of his young victims who spoke to us and helped us build a picture of his offending.”

Pauline McCullough, from CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “Over a short period of time the defendant conducted a spree of sexual attacks on very young girls. He was detected swiftly by West Yorkshire Police who were assisted by the full support of the victims’ families and the co-operation of the local community.

“Early consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service and close working between the police and CPS thereafter secured the timely conviction of this dangerous sex offender.”

 
 
 

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