Vile child molester jailed for 10 years

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A SHOPKEEPER from Sandiacre, attracted by ‘vulnerability’, groomed and sexually abused an 11-year-old customer and molested another girl of a similar age.

Paul Berrington was jailed for 10 years for the crimes after Derby Crown Court was told about a sickening catalogue of abuse.

The court heard that the 56-year-old had previously confessed to his social worker that age was ‘irrelevant’ to him and that only ‘vulnerability and willingness to engage in sexual activity’ mattered.

Berrington was found guilty of 11 counts of indecent assault and one charge of making an indecent video.

Jailing him, Judge Gosling said: “You have inflicted extreme psychological damage on both girls.

“I have no hesitation in concluding you are a dangerous offender.”

The court heard that Berrington, of Stanton Road, Sandiacre, committed offences against both girls in the 1990s.

Prosecutor Grace Hale said he had identified one of them as an ‘ideal target’ when she first went into his second-hand shop at the age of eight.

She was described as a vulnerable child and Berrington ‘took advantage’.

He began sexually abusing her when she was 11, Ms Hale said. On one occasion, he made a sexually explicit tape of the girl which he destroyed when the police started questioning him.

The girl went on to take drugs and became a prostitute. Berrington later started paying her for sex.

Judge Jonathan Gosling told the court he had ‘never encountered anyone more severely damaged’ than this victim, blaming it on her ‘destroyed’ childhood, in which Berrington had played a ‘significant role’.

The court heard Berrington groomed another girl and Judge Gosling said his subsequent offences had ‘ruined her childhood’.

It also emerged in court that Berrington was convicted in 1989 of a sexual offence relating to two other young girls.

In 1992, he had confided in a social worker that he ‘deliberately monitored and targeted’ one of the girls and that her age was ‘irrelevant’ to him.

“What mattered was her vulnerability and her willingness to engage in sexual activity,” Judge Gosling said.

As part of his sentence, Berrington, owner of Good As New, in Long Eaton, and Good As New 2, in Beeston, has been placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

A Derbyshire police spokeswoman said the force could not release details of the 1989 conviction or say whether Berrington had been monitored as a result.