A Scunthorpe child rapist who has been jailed for life was caught when he took indecent pictures and uploaded them online.
David Hough, 56, of Derwent Road, Scunthorpe was sentenced at Grimsby Crown Court on Tuesday, February 18.
He maintained his innocence until the final day of the trial, forcing his three victims to relive the ordeal in court.
Hough pleaded guilty in December to 22 sexual offences, including six counts of rape of a boy under 13, eight counts of causing a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity and three counts of making an indecent photograph of a child.
The defendant also entered a not guilty plea to the rape of a man over 16 and indecent assault on a boy under 14.
All of the offences were committed in both Essex and North Lincolnshire between 1996 and 2019.
The court heard how Hough came to the attention of the police after the National Crime Agency identified that he had uploaded an indecent image online.
Officers attended Hough’s address where he was arrested, a search was carried out and a number of electronic devices, memory cards, discs and removable digital storage devices were seized.
These were examined by detectives and found to contain over 1,000 indecent images of children, as well indecent footage of a sexual nature involving children.
A comprehensive joint investigation was launched with officers from Humberside Police and Essex Police working together to gather all the available intelligence to present to the courts.
As part of this, three victims were identified, who bravely spoke out about the sexual abuse that they had suffered as children at the hands of David Hough.
DC Ali Cunningham from Humberside Police’s Internet Sex Offenders team said: “Hough is a perverted and abhorrent child sex offender who preyed on vulnerable young children, grooming them so that he could commit deplorable actions without anyone knowing.
“Hough held his final guilty plea until the day of the trial, potentially putting his victim through the harrowing ordeal of having to relive the offences, which further highlights his lack of morality that we have seen from him throughout the investigative process.
“I want to thank the victims for their bravery throughout what I have no doubt was an incredibly difficult experience. It is their courage that has led to his sentence and I hope that they feel some sense of justice has been achieved knowing that Hough is behind bars for life.
“I want to offer my reassurance to anyone that is being sexually abused, that we are here for you and we will listen and support you. Nobody should be made to suffer abuse and we have specially trained officers to support victims and fully investigate reports, bringing offenders to justice.
“If you have concerns or information about offences being committed please call our non-emergency 101 line. If you would prefer to report information anonymously you can do so by calling the independent charity Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.”