Tydd Gote paedophile sentenced to 26 years in prison after ‘corrupting’ underage girl; police chief describes it as ‘the worst case I have investigated in my entire career’

John McPherson

John McPherson - Credit: Archant

A paedophile who carried out an horrific sex attack on a young girl was today (Wednesday) jailed for 26 years at Lincoln Crown Court.

Judge John Pini QC sentenced John MacPherson under a rarely used section of the 2003 Criminal Justice Act which means he will not be freed, as is normal, when he has served half of his sentence and instead the Parole Board will decide when he is safe to be released.

Judge Pini told MacPherson “In 35 years working in the criminal justice system this is about the worst case I have seen. It really is shocking.”

“You corrupted her. I have no doubt you are a determined paedophile. You are in complete denial.

“I shudder to think what damage you have done. She will bear emotional scarring for the rest of her life.

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“When you have served half of your sentence you will not be automatically released. You will be referred to the parole board. It may be that they will decide it is never safe for you to be released and you will serve the entire custodial term.”

MacPherson ,61, of Long Road, Tydd Gote, denied three charges of assault by penetration of a child under the age of 13 and seven charges of sexual assault between July and October 2015 together with further offences of taking an indecent photograph of as child, causing a child to watch a sexual act and causing a child to engage in sexual activity. The jury took less than two hours to convict him of all charges.

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The court was told he had a previous conviction in 1986 for having unlawful sex with a 14 year old girl.

Mary Loram, prosecuting, said the offences came to light in October last year when the girl’s mother took her to hospital. Doctors discovered she had an object lodged inside her. She subsequently underwent a two and a half hour operation to remove it.

The girl revealed she had been subjected to horrific abuse. Police inquiries revealed that MacPherson had indecent photographs of children on his computer and had search the internet looking for child porn.

She said “He is entrenched with a certain mentality. He associates with those who are also interested in children in such a way.”

Stuart Lody, defending, said “In terms of personal mitigation there is really none apart from the fact that he has lost everything.”

DC Scott Miller of the specialist Operation Emerald team said: “I’m so proud of the victim and her family for having the courage to come and give evidence at court. Justice has been served.

“This despicable, calculating person isn’t going to be able to cause any more harm. “This has been the worst case I have investigated in my entire career”

The offences committed by John Stephen MacPherson, from the Wisbech area, first came to light on 11 October 2015. A police investigation was started which resulted in MacPherson being charged and remanded at Lincoln Magistrates Court. MacPherson pleaded not guilty to the offences and stood trial at Lincoln Crown Court on 4 April 2016.

The jury at Lincoln Crown Court found Macpherson guilty of 13 offences.

Speaking after sentencing Detective Superintendent Richard Hatton said: “The most important person in this deeply disturbing case is the young girl who has shown courage and strength beyond her years.

“She has been supported throughout by the Child Independent Sexual violence Advisor (CISVA).

“I hope the excellent support she has received by everyone will help her as she carries on with her young life. The perpetrator has been put in the place he deserves to be and will not be able to offend against children again.”

In his comments Judge Pini described MacPherson’s defence as one of the most odious and repellent defences he had heard in 35 years working in the criminal justice system. This reflects the horrible offending against an innocent child. I am deeply proud of my staff and our colleagues within other agencies for the compassion and professionalism they have shown in this investigation within which the depravity and truly horrible attitude of Macpherson has left me lost for words”

John MacPherson has been found guilty of the following offences.

•Seven counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, contrary to section 7(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

•One count of causing a child to watch a sexual act, contrary to section 12(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

•One count of taking an indecent photograph of a child, contrary to section 1(1) (a) of the Protection of Children Act 1978.

•One count of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, contrary to section 8(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

•Three counts of assaulting a child under 13 by penetration, contrary to section 6(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Operation Emerald is a team of specially trained officers and experienced detectives committed and dedicated to rape and sexual assault investigation. They work closely with the Spring Lodge Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), Education staff, Social Services and the Crown Prosecution Service.

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