A police officer who raped a 13-year-old girl and targeted children as young as 12 has been convicted.
Father-of-one Ian Naude raped the 13-year-old just minutes after clocking off from his shift with Cheshire Police.
The 30-year-old police officer with Cheshire Constabulary, first came into contact with the 13-year-old girl after being called to an incident at her home on October last year.
Over the next 24-hours, he groomed her and pressured her into sending him indecent images of herself. The next day, he returned to her home after finishing his shift and picked her up in his car.
The girl got into his car and he drove her to a secluded spot on nearby waste ground where he raped her and filmed the attack on his mobile phone.
A week later, on November 3, the girl’s parents raised their concerns with police and Naude was swiftly identified as the suspect.
He was arrested the following day and was immediately suspended from duty.
Naude, of Market Drayton in Shropshire, was subsequently charged on November 4 2017 with seven offences relating to the 13-year-old victim and he was remanded into custody. He was later dismissed from the force at a special hearing.
But as officers investigated further, the full horror of Naude's predatory behaviour began to surface.
Police soon discovered that Naude had been grooming a number of young girls, with one victim aged just 12.
The court heard how he would gain the trust of young girls by posing on social media as a 15-year-old boy called Jake Green.
He also had a fake account under the name of Bruce Ian Wayne, an apparent reference to superhero Batman, and a Snapchat account named King Of The North.
As detectives began to piece together the case it became clear that Naude had been scouring the internet in search of young girls and would use an image of a young man on his profile to incite his victims.
He would approach them via social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Kik. He would always start with ‘Hi, you look pretty and interesting’ before moving quickly onto a simple ‘question and answer’ game, progressing to conversations littered with flirtatious and sexual language.
He would persuade his victims to undress and sometimes perform indecent acts on camera. He would also send the girls explicit photographs and videos of himself performing sexual acts. In court it was heard that he also attempted to meet up with the girls face-to-face.
If his victims began to have doubts or refuse to obey his demands, he would threaten to send the photos on to other people on their Facebook friends list. On one occasion he told a victim he would harass her friends, including one who self-harmed, unless she sent him more photos.
He became extremely persistent and exploited the vulnerabilities of his victims.
He was described during the two-week trial as a "selfish and cruel paedophile" who was obsessed with taking the virginity of teenage girls and joined the force with the intention of gaining access to vulnerable victims.
Ian Naude was convicted today (Thursday 15 November) following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court. A jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him guilty of rape and sexual assault, as well as four charges of attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence and one charge of arranging a child sex offence, relating to five complainants aged between 12 and 15.
As the investigation unravelled further charges were brought against Naude – 38 in total. These related to nine victims, aged between 12 and 19.
During previous court appearances Naude had pleaded guilty to 31 of the 38 charges, including two offences of misconduct in a public office.
He also admitted two counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child, 14 counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one count of taking indecent photos of a child, four counts of making indecent photos of a child, six counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act, two counts of misconduct in a public office and one count of possessing indecent photos of a child.
Following today’s guilty verdict Detective Chief Superintendent Aaron Duggan said: “It was Ian Naude’s job to enforce the law and protect the most vulnerable from harm. Instead he did the opposite and abused his position as a student police constable and used the power he had in that role to manipulate a young girl and take advantage of her, raping her in his car. As if that wasn’t bad enough he filmed part of what happened on his mobile phone.
“His behaviour was disgusting and the impact was devastating. I cannot begin to imagine what the victim has had to go through – first disclosing what happened to her and then having to relive the details during the trial.
“The courage and bravery that she has shown is nothing short of remarkable and I only hope that she can begin in some way to rebuild her life now that Naude has been convicted.”
The court heard that during the course of the investigation a number of electronic devices belonging to Naude were seized and examined. These revealed a large collection of indecent images and videos of children.
The court heard how Naude had been cultivating an "ever increasing interest in young girls" over the past six or seven years.
Summing up the case, Judge Goldstone said: "The defence concede that this is a case which has fairly depicted the defendant as a cold, uncaring, selfish and cruel paedophile who has on occasion stooped as low as coercive and threatening behaviour, including blackmail of young girls, some of whom have been properly characterised as vulnerable."
Naude admitted having sex with his victim, who he initially met while on duty, but claimed the 13-year-old had consented.
But, he denied that he had attempted to arrange to commit child sex offences, claiming that messages sent to girls asking them to meet were just fantasy.
Since the beginning of his trial, it has emerged that Naude, who started working for Cheshire Police in April 2017, had been identified as a suspect in two child grooming cases in neighbouring forces in the months prior to his appointment.
The court also heard after the rape was reported Naude was accidentally copied into a police email revealing the plan to arrest him.
When his phone was seized, a total of 756 images had been deleted from it.
Other devices, including a laptop and another phone, were later discovered in a field in Market Drayton after he gave a hand-drawn map of their location to his cellmate.
Police believe there may still be more victims who have yet to come forward.
Naude joined Cheshire Constabulary in April 2017 and, following a period of training, he was based at Crewe Local Policing Unit with a tutor constable.