A paedophile from Teesside who downloaded thousands of child abuse images and then blamed his victim has been jailed.
Matthew John Dabbs appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Friday 4 August, after admitting two offences causing or inciting a teenage girl to engage in sexual activity as well as one sexual activity with a child.
Dabbs, of Parliament Walk in Stockton, was jailed for six years, handed a sexual harm prevention order and placed onto the sex offenders register for life.
The sentence was in part down to a perceived lack of remorse from Dabbs, who had been given an opportunity to speak up in pre-sentence report.
Defending Dabbs was Andrew Turton, who claimed that his client had been drinking heavily during the offences and was also going through depression.
But, as reported by Gazette Live, Turton was surprised to find that despite there were "clear overtures of remorse", that didn't "come through in the report".
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said: "Over a period of at least a year, you groomed this young girl.
"She was particularly vulnerable – a fact you understood and took advantage of.
"You may have suffered from depression yourself – your disadvantage in that respect is nothing when compared to hers.
"You incited her to carry out sexual activity."
The judge was also unimpressed with the attempt to blame the victims, he said: "You said that it was the victim who badgered you. You said she was a nuisance. You failed to see her as a child.
"You knew perfectly well she was vulnerable. She didn't badger you. You were grooming her."
Prosecutor Adrian Dent said that after police seized his computer equipment, the sexually explicit conversations ran for more than 1,200 pages.
He also revealed that Dabbs was caught out the mother of one of the victims found the messages on her phone.
In a statement read to the court, the victim's mother said: "She functions at the age of an eight-year-old.
"She is very trusting – if an adult says something then that's it for her.
"She feels like she's being punished despite our assurances that she is not.
"She is struggling to find an appropriate way to vent her emotion.
"This has had a huge impact on our entire family."
In total, 12,563 indecent images were found to be in Dabbs' possession, including images of children as young as four.
Judge Bourne-Arton said: "This is not a victimless crime. Children are subjected to appalling abuse so that men like you can get sexually perverted pleasure from watching them - and here the children were as young as four."