Child porn offender set to learn fate

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A FORMER male prison officer from Scarborough who posed on the internet as a woman offering two young daughters for sexual abuse is due to be sentenced today.

York Crown Court heard on Friday that David Lightfoot, of Aberdeen Walk, was reported to the police for having child pornography on his laptop computer by his own wife.

The police discovered thousands of indecent images on the laptop - depicting children as young as six – and that 58-year-old Lightfoot had himself also been distributing the material on the internet, using the pseudonym of “Dirty Dirty Devil”.

Lightfoot previously admitted 17 offences of making indecent photographs of children and six of distributing such material. Patrick Palmer, prosecuting, said that the offences were just samples of the defendant’s offending.

Lightfoot, who claims that he left his computer and passwords for his family to find because he wanted to be caught to end his disgust and shame at his own behaviour, was told by The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, that his case presented some very serious aspects.

The judge added that he required time to consider the evidence, mitigation, reports and guidelines before passing sentence.

Despite an application for bail, Judge Ashurst remanded Lightfoot in custody until today, telling him that he did not want to give him false hope.

Mr Palmer told the court that files were found on Lightfoot’s laptop and his wife reported the matter to the police. But after speaking with her husband, who was in Whitby visiting his parents during August last year, she attempted to wipe the evidence off the laptop and retract her complaint.

Lightfoot was threatening his wife that he would commit suicide.

However, the police did not give up and arrived at the family home to remove and inspect the computer, DVDs and memory sticks, finding thousands of images – although some of them, despite depicting young children – were not classed as pornographic.

However, other images were and included some of the worst types of abuse.

Also found in the computer’s memory was evidence that Lightfoot had been portraying himself on pornographic networks as a woman called Michelle Robson, and that “she” had two young daughters who could be abused by others, or by “her”.

Glenn Parsons, mitigating, said that his client had served in the Navy and then in the Prison Service, but had to retire after contracting arthritis.

As a result, said Mr Parsons, during 2010 Lightfoot turned to drink and to the internet and fell into this “lifestyle for which he felt utter shame”.

Agreeing with the judge that his client “is completely in denial that he had got any sexual gratification from his offences”, Mr Parsons said that Lightfoot was a man of previous impeccable character whose life, and that of his family, had been broken as a result of what he had done.