AN “evil predator” who secretly filmed himself abusing a young girl in between sex tourism trips to Thailand has been jailed for six years.

David Grant, 66, of St Helen’s Road, Westcliff, carried out a two-year campaign of sexual abuse even after he was arrested and bailed for possession of child pornography.

As well as videos of his victim, police found images of other children and “covert” photographs of youngsters taken while the paedophile was on one of his frequent trips to the Asian holiday destination.

Basildon Crown Court heard the painter and decorator was arrested in August last year after he “accidentally” uploaded two category C images of children to Facebook.

He told officers he found underage girls “attractive and pretty” but single Grant was released on bail on the condition he did not have contact with children.

However, the pervert already had access to his victim and ignored the condition.

Alex Chalk, prosecuting, said police only uncovered the abuse after fully examining computer devices seized from his home.

On them, officers found a video of Grant performing oral sex on the girl, and “tens of thousands” of stills from four more videos showing sexual assaults.

One of the videos showed the girl asleep as a man performed a sex act.

Officers also found sexual images of another girl known to Grant as well as nine category A images, 23 category B images and 2,166 category C images of children aged between eight and 12 being abused.

Mr Chalk said: “Over the course of two years the defendant frequently sexually assaulted her. The abuse was still going on at the time the defendant was arrested.”

After his first arrest, Grant told the girl that he was “going away” and asked whether she wanted a “goodbye massage”.

He was arrested again in November.

Grant, who has been married three times, later told police that although he knew it was illegal he did not see any harm in the abuse because both he and the girl “enjoyed it”.

However, Grant warned the girl the meetings were “our little secret” and he would buy her gifts and fast food as a reward.

Grant admitted seven counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 and one count of sexual activity in the presence of a child, covering at least 30 occasions.

He also admitted one count of possessing indecent photographs of children, three counts of making indecent images of children, and two counts of taking an indecent photograph of a child.

Judge David Pugh handed Grant a six-year prison sentence with a three year extended licence period- towards the top end of what sentencing guidelines allow.

He said: “You have demonstrated no remorse for your actions. I am satisfied that you present a significant risk of causing serious harm to children by committing further similar offences.”

Justice for victim and family

DAVID Grant’s young victim is now having counselling for her ordeal.

The girl’s mother, speaking after the verdict, said she was pleased with the length of the sentence although she would have liked Grant to be jailed for longer.

She said: “My daughter just wanted this to be over so she can get on with her life.”

DC Joanne Watts, from Essex Police’s online investigation team, said: "This is a one of the most harrowing cases I have investigated in my career.

“Grant put his victim through a horrendous ordeal and his imprisonment is testament to our hard work and determination in bringing sex offenders to justice.

“Grant will remain on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life and the victim and family can now start to move on knowing they are safe from this evil predator.”

An NSPCC spokesman said: "Grant is a vile sexual predator whose depraved crimes will have had a lasting effect on a young child. It is right that he is now behind bars.

“His victim showed tremendous courage to help jail Grant who must now undergo treatment in prison so that he is not a risk to any child ever again.

“It’s vital that all survivors of abuse are confident they will be listened to when they come forward and that they are giving appropriate support afterwards.”

Children can call Childline anytime on 0800 1111 or visit for advice and support.