A man has been jailed for a string of child rapes and sex offences following a meticulous Metropolitan Police investigation in which detectives examined more than 1.5million potentially indecent images.
Dean Edmunds, 36 (01.05.85) of south east London was sentenced on Friday, 21 May at Croydon Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to sex offences against children as well as the production of extreme pornographic images involving an animal. Edmunds pleaded guilty to the offences over the course of two hearings that took place on Friday, 27 November 2020 and Wednesday, 13 January.
Officers investigating his crimes viewed the huge amount of files stored on multiple devices belonging to Dean in the hunt for indecent images of children and extreme pornography, finding around 6,700 images fitting the criteria.
Dean Edmunds was sentenced to a total of 18 years’ imprisonment for 28 offences:
Three counts of rape of a girl under 13
Assault of a child under 13 by penetration
Nine counts sexual assault of a child under 13
Causing a child to engage in sexual activity
Inciting a child to engage in sexual activity
Four counts of taking indecent photographs of a child
Three counts of making indecent images of children
Possessing indecent Images of a child
Distributing indecent photographs of children
Possession of extreme pornographic images
Possession of prohibited images of children
Intercourse with an animal
Commit an act/series of acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice
Officers from the South Area Public Protection Unit began an investigation into Edmunds in July 2020.
The investigation was fast paced and saw a team of ten officers recover 11 electronic devices to review the 1.5 million files, as well as travelling overseas a number of times to interview a victim and her family.
The majority of Edmunds’ rape and assault offences related to one girl who was aged between three and seven years old when the abuse took place. The team continue to provide ongoing support to the victim and her family.
Detective Sergeant Laura Davies, who was the first person the young girl had spoken to about the abuse she had suffered, said: “I’ve been a police officer for almost 20 years, I spent five years in the child abuse team and this case is by far the worst case I have ever investigated. Edmunds groomed his main victim to the point where she was so terrified of Edmunds that she was unable to tell anyone what had happened to her.
“This was an extremely traumatic experience for her but she has shown great courage and bravery throughout this investigation. I wish to thank her for showing such strength and for putting her trust in me as I was the first person she opened up to about what had happened.
“She started to physically shake at the mention of his name during her interview. What is truly heart-breaking is that given the young age of the victims, it is difficult to establish what the full psychological impact will be on them as they grow up.”
Edmunds recorded his sexual abuse of four children, all young girls, two of whom officers are still working to identify. Officers discovered these first generation images – meaning that they were created by Edmunds himself – as well as a catalogue of nearly 2,000 horrific images classed at category A or extreme pornography.
As well as images of Edmunds sexually abusing his victims, officers discovered hundreds of images that he had taken of girls and women of all ages on public transport, changing rooms and other locations, including ‘up-skirt’ images of young girls.
Edmunds was sentenced alongside his partner Leanne Edmunds, 36 (01.03.85) also of south east London.
Officers found explicit texts messages between the pair discussing Edmunds’ abuse of a young girl.
Officers also discovered videos of Leanne engaging in a sexual act with the family dog.
Leanne Edmunds was sentenced to a three-year community order on Friday, 21 May after she previously pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday, 3 February to the following offences at Croydon Crown Court:
Three counts of making indecent photographs of children
Intercourse with an animal
Possession of extreme pornographic image / images portraying an act of intercourse / oral sex with a dead / alive animal
Possession of prohibited images of children
The father of one victim described the devastating impact Edmunds’ actions have had: “When we were first told about what had happened I screamed in horror, I couldn’t take what I was hearing, I couldn’t comprehend what the police were saying to me. I did not want anyone to say those words to me, but they did and it will forever haunt me.
“I went through weeks of pain, sleepless nights, I could not process it. I doubted myself as a parent, the guilt was too much to bear. I should have been there, I should have stopped it, I should have protected her.
“When my daughter was born, I was new to the whole dad business but the unconditional love I felt for my little girl was like a train hitting me. She was a beautiful little baby, she was my little girl and I cannot describe the anger, upset, disgust and hurt I feel at what that person has done to her and what he has taken away.
“I cannot imagine how she must have felt carrying this around with her, not having told anyone. I feel so sorry for her that she had to bottle this up inside her because she was so scared to say anything to anyone. I will always carry the anguish of what has happened with me, but this is nothing to what my daughter will have to live with for the rest of her life.
DS Davies added: “Dean Edmunds’ offending was of the most depraved in nature and he is without a doubt a danger to all children. He recorded his abuse of his victims, discussed it with Leanne and shared the images as if he was showing off and was proud of what he had done. He talks about his victims in the most disgusting and arrogant way. He showed no remorse in his interviews with police and had no regard for the pain, hurt and suffering he has caused.
“Edmunds placed his own sexual gratification before anything and in doing so violated the privacy of countless women and girls through the images he took in public places. Edmunds did not give a seconds thought to the women and girls he took photos of as they were going about their daily lives.
“Edmunds possessed a significant amount of indecent images across a number of devices. Throughout my career I have had to view a large amount of images and I can only described these as the worst type of child abuse images I have seen.”
Detective Chief Inspector Dan O’Sullivan, from the South Area Public Protection Unit said: “This case exemplifies the lengths that officers from the Metropolitan Police Service will go to bring offenders like these two individuals to justice. In order to protect the identity of victims in this case we are unable to fully discuss the level of interagency working, but it would be wrong to let today pass without acknowledging the efforts of our overseas and governmental partners in securing these convictions.
“I also want to pay tribute to the tireless work of the dedicated officers who spent hours viewing the most horrific images that led to today’s sentencing. This was a fast paced investigation and thanks to the effort of the team, Edmunds will no longer be able to harm children.
“This is truly a harrowing case and at the heart of it are families who must now face piecing their lives back together. Nothing will ever take away the implications of Edmunds’ abuse, but I sincerely hope in some small way that today’s sentence can allow the victims and their families to begin to heal from this terrible ordeal.”