Ian Naude, who was working as a student officer for Cheshire Police at the time of the assault in October 2017, 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 meeting vulnerable victims.
Yesterday, 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.
The court had been told the 30-year-old, who police believe may have more victims who have yet to come forward, had been acting on an “ever increasing interest in young girls” over the past six or seven years.
He started working for the police in April 2017, despite being named as a suspect in two child grooming cases in neighbouring forces in the months leading up to his appointment, it has now emerged.
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Naude, who previously served in Afghanistan as a machine gunner with the Royal Irish Regiment, was warned by Recorder of Liverpool Judge Clement Goldstone QC he faces a “very significant sentence indeed”.
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.”