'Dangerous' Northampton paedophile reoffended just six weeks after getting out of prison

He had previously raped a young girl and had only just been released from prison

Friday, 19th March 2021, 5:38 pm
Scott Craddock.
Scott Craddock.

A 'dangerous and highly manipulative' man has been sent back to prison after being found hiding an illegal laptop in his room at a probation hostel.

Scott Craddock was found hiding the computer in his bed at a Bridgewood Probation Hostel just a few weeks after being released after serving half of a four-and-a-half year sentence imposed by Northampton Crown Court for several historic sexual offences including the rape of a girl aged eight and the indecent assault of a boy aged five.

He was released to the hostel on November 5, 2019 and on December 21 staff were called to his room after he told them there was a flood. They found a Toshiba laptop with a webcam hidden in the bedsheets. He was not allowed to have it under the conditions of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order imposed by the court in 2017.

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On the laptop were found 32 indecent images of children downloaded between December 12 and 21. There were also search terms for paedophile websites. Further analysis showed that it had previously been wiped and restored to its factory settings.

He was charged with three breaches of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and two of making indecent images of children.

Mitigating, Will Heyward said that his client had pleaded guilty at an early opportunity and that he was 'deeply remorseful'. He said he had qualified for the Kaizen programme for high risk sex offenders which he was completing during his time at HMP Bure.

"He understands he's messed up," said Mr Heyward.

"He understands he has work to do. He'd like to get this matter concluded and would like to start afresh and move on."

The court heard how Craddock, of no fixed abode, had nine convictions for 15 previous offences including one of gross indecency from 2003 where he took a 16-year-old child to Birmingham overnight without the permission of her parents. He also had previous convictions for making indecent images of children in 2016 and again in 2017.

Sentencing, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo, said: "You were asked about the computer by police and you lied about it.

"This offending comes as close to the maximum sentence for a breach of an SHPO as it can."

Judge Mayo was compelled by sentencing guidelines to reduce Craddock's sentence because of his early guilty plea.

He added: "You are dangerous, you are highly-manipulative and will do anything to achieve sexual gratification, especially with regard to young children."

Craddock was sentenced to three years in prison and made the subject a new SHPO. He is already on the sex offenders' register for life. He will serve half of his sentence in prison and the rest on licence which means, when time served is taken into account, he could be out of prison in four months.

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