Sex offender showed indecent images to girls on Leeds train

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A paedophile showed indecent footage on his mobile phone to three 12-year-old girls while on a train to Leeds, police say.

Gavin Rhodes has been jailed nearly five years for sexual offences with young girls after being arrested when he got off the train at Leeds station last August.

The 34-year-old, from Briggate, Shipley, had his phone seized and a search of his house carried out, with laptops and hard drives removed by police.

British Transport Police say an examination of Rhodes’s phone revealed contact between himself and a 13-year-old girl in which “pictures of a sexual nature were exchanged”.

Analysis of his laptops brought to light more images of young girls and indecent videos, while officers also discovered evidence he had been engaging with children in internet chat rooms.

Rhodes admitted to downloading all the material and using an alias to exchange indecent images with a 13-year-old girl.

He also admitted talking to other girls between the ages of 12 and 16. In total, he was found to have more than 7,000 indecent images on his computers and hard drives.

During a hearing at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday, Rhodes was jailed for a total of four years and nine months after pleading guilty to a series of offences.

This included four years for causing a child to engage in sexual activity, six months for 21 offences of making indecent photographs of children and three months for indecent exposure.

The force said that at an earlier hearing, “the court heard that during the journey [to Leeds] Rhodes had shown three 12-year-old girls on the train mobile phone footage of an indecent nature.”

Detective Constable Lee Parsons of British Transport Police said: “This sentence represents the culmination of a complex investigation.”

“Rhodes showed a flagrant disregard for the wellbeing of the young girls he engaged with online, putting his own sexual gratification above their welfare.

“It is satisfying to know that he has been brought to account for his actions. I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of all those officers involved with this case.”

Leeds East MP Richard Burgon in his office in Seacroft, Leeds, March 2018.  Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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