'Freckle Hand' Child Abuser Jailed

A paedophile who was today jailed for six years, was caught out after distinctive freckles in his hand were cross-compared to photographs showing abuse.

Dean Hardy, 50, from Orpington, south-east London, took photos of young Thai girls being sexually abused during a business trip.

The court heard 63 indecent photos were discovered on the father-of-one's memory cards from his camera's and computer drives.

He admitted two counts of indecent assault of a girl under the age of 13 and four counts of taking photos of children and was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.

Sentencing, Judge Gregory Stone, said: "It's plain from the evidence that you went to Thailand where you molested young girls and took photographs, indecent photographs, of these young female children.

"As many as four children were involved in these crimes. This was sex tourism of the most offensive kind."

He added: "You were plainly exploiting their and their families' poverty and vulnerability without caring what harm you were inflicting on these children, and caring only for your own depraved gratification."

Hardy was arrested on 24 September 2007 after officers from the Met's Paedophile Unit searched his home in Orpington following intelligence that he had been using his home computer to access a subscribed to website that provided indecent images of children.

Two of the 63 indecent photographs found on the memory cards showed young South-East Asian girls - between the ages of eight and ten - being abused by an adult.

A forensic anthropologist compared the freckles and blemishes on the hand in the photograph with those on Hardy's left hand and found that they were identical.

Police also found that he had travelled to Thailand at the time the pictures were taken.

Hardy will be on the sex offenders' register for life and was also banned from working with children or being in the company of a minor under the age of 16 without the permission of a guardian.


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