A Cheshire police officer has been found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.
Ian Naude, who was working as a student officer 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.
On Thursday, 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.
The court heard he joined the force with the intention of meeting vulnerable victims.
Naude started working for the police in April 2017, despite being named as a suspect in a child grooming case in a neighbouring force in the months leading up to his appointment, it has now emerged.
He was warned by Judge Clement Goldstone that 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.”
Naude admitted having sex with his victim, who he initially met while on duty, but claimed the 13-year-old had consented.
He also admitted two counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child, 14 counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one count of taking indecent photos of a child, four counts of making indecent photos of a child, six counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act, two counts of misconduct in a public office and one count of possessing indecent photos of a child.
But he denied that he had attempted to arrange to commit child sex offences, claiming that messages sent to girls asking them to meet were just fantasy.
Naude had been called to a domestic incident at the victim’s house in October 2017 and contacted her on Facebook days later.
After exchanging sexual images and messages over social media, he took her out in his car and raped her, the jury heard.
The court was told the father-of-one, based at Crewe police station, would gain the trust of young girls by posing on social media as a 15-year-old boy called Jake Green.
He also had an account under the name of Bruce Ian Wayne, an apparent reference to superhero Batman, and a Snapchat account named King Of The North.
He would persuade his victims to undress and sometimes perform sexual acts on camera before sending them pictures and video of himself masturbating, the court heard.
In some cases he then threatened to send the photos on to other people on their Facebook friends list and on one occasion told a victim he would harass her friends, including one who self-harmed, unless she sent him photos.
The court heard after the rape was reported Naude was accidentally copied into a police email revealing the plan to arrest him.
When his phone was seized 756 images had been deleted from it.
Other devices, including a laptop and another phone, were later discovered in a field in Market Drayton after he gave a hand-drawn map of their location to his cellmate.
Naude will be sentenced on 13 December.