WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15, 3PM UPDATE: A 47-year-old man who sexually exploited a young boy was today jailed for ten years.
Dennis Eldridge of Pembroke betrayed the trust of the boy’s parents by touching him on his buttocks and private area, five different times.
He also admitted 11 charges of accessing child abusive material or child pornography.
The charges relate to incidents that occurred between May 7, 2008 and April 28, 2011.
Deputy director of the DPP Cindy Clarke told the court the boy was touched on many occasions at his own home and at Eldridge's home.
She said: “On Thursday, the 21st of April 2011, the victim disclosed to his mother that the defendant had been touching him on his penis and also had touched him on his buttocks.
“On the last occasion of the exploitation, the defendant was at the victim’s home demonstrating how to make kites.
“The victim was in his bedroom making his kite when the defendant approached him and put his hand up his trousers and reached into his underwear and touched his penis and his buttocks.”
Ms Clarke continued: “The victim reports that on the penultimate occasion of the exploitation, he was at the defendant’s house.
“They were watching a movie, and the victim asked his mother if he could play with the defendant’s flight simulator game.
“She allowed the victim to play for five minutes while she went to get the car.
“It was then when his mother left that the defendant put his hands down the victim’s pants, beneath his underpants and touched his penis.”
Ms Clarke told the court on one occasion, Eldridge touched the boy’s anus.
As for the child porn charges, police arrested Eldridge, an IT worker, at his job on April 28.
They searched his home and confiscated two computers.
On those computers, officers found thousands of images and videos of child pornography.
The images showed naked children as young as five.
Others showed a child with a sex toy and a child performing a sex act on an adult.
Videos also depicted naked children in various inappropriate settings.
In a victim impact statement, the mother of the boy said he is receiving counselling for the exploitation and his grades have been slipping in school.
The woman said she now suffers from insomnia and has panic attacks as a result.
She said: “How did I miss the signs?
“To think that I had a person of this nature in my life and around my son is totally unbelievable.
“I wouldn’t wish this situation on anybody.
“Me and my family were violated by Dennis Eldridge.”
Ms Clarke said when Eldridge was arrested, he told police he was “thankful” for being arrested because he was on the path of committing a more serious sex assault on the child.
The court heard he accessed child porn daily and would experience feelings of guilt and shame afterwards.
Ms Clarke also said the defendant fantasized about the boy and looked forward to visiting the family.
Simon Payne, lawyer for Eldridge said his client was molested by his own mother from age two until he was a teenager.
He said that was a mitigating factor along with his client’s guilty plea and previous good character.
Eldridge declined to say anything before sentencing.
Puisne Judge Carlisle Greave said the case didn’t require “a great deal of comment by the court”.
But he said: “In this case, there was indeed a serious breach of trust by the defendant who was a man trusted by the parent of the young child.
“In her own home, she trusted him to have her young child and at his home.
“He continuously sexually exploited her young child.”
The judge continued: “I find the only mitigating factors in this case to be the defendant’s own misery as it must have been having, according to him the consistent sexual exploitation by his own mother as young as two to his teenage years.
“Some do say that many criminals are often created by their own parents.
“It’s arguable that this appears to be one of those cases.”
Mr Greaves sentenced Eldridge to eight years for sexual exploitation and two years for accessing child pornography to run consecutively.
Time in custody will be taken into consideration.