Pervert joke shop owner is jailed

David Slater.
David Slater.
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A joke shop owner who filmed himself sexually abusing children has been jailed indefinitely.

Police discovered the vile images after seizing David Slater’s computers when they received a tip-off that he had been downloading indecent pictures of children from the internet.

The court was told one of his victims called him Santa Claus.

Slater, 60, former owner of the Loony Bin, Armley, Leeds, abused a boy and a girl in his shop as well as at his home nearby.

After his arrest was reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, a third victim came forward saying Slater had abused her several years earlier.

Slater, of Edinburgh Place, Armley, was yesterday jailed indefinitely after a judge heard he posed a significant risk to children in the future.

A psychiatric report said Slater was likely to prey on children again if he is ever released from prison.

After the hearing, Det Con Pam Gillings, of West Yorkshire Police’s abusive images unit, said: “David Slater is a dangerous committed paedophile who has used his position in the community to gain access to vulnerable children in order to abuse them for his own sexual gratification.”

Richard Clews, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court police received intelligence in March last year that Slater had been downloading child porn.

Computers at his business and home were seized which contained around 10,000 images.

Some included pictures and films of Slater with a boy and a girl, both under the age of 13. Officers then traced the youngsters.

The boy had been given money by Slater and on one occasion was given cider to drink which made him “tipsy”.

Mr Clews said: “The prosecution submit that the giving of money and the giving of drink was the defendant grooming the boy for sexual activity,”

After his arrest Slater told officers he didn’t think his behaviour had been inappropriate and that he thought it was “just fun”.

The third victim later came forward and told officers how Slater abused her on at least three occasions.

Mr Clews added: “At that stage he had a white beard and she called him Santa Claus. Of course, he was very far indeed from the reality of Santa Claus.”

Slater pleaded guilty to 18 counts relating to possession of child porn and seven relating to sex assaults on children under the age of 13.

Stephen Smithson, mitigating, said both psychiatric and pre sentence reports had recommended Slater be jailed indefinitely after judging him to pose a significant risk to the public in the future.

Mr Smithson asked that Slater be given credit for pleading guilty to the offences at the earliest opportunity.

Judge Roger Ibbotson told Slater he must serve a minimum of five years in prison before he is eligible to apply to the parole board for release.

He said: “You show no remorse whatsoever or any indication that you begin to understand the effect of your conduct on these children.

“If you ever leave prison you will leave with absolutely nothing, having lost you assets and other possessions as a result of these proceedings.

“It is clear that a very long period of imprisonment is necessary.”