A police officer was branded a “sexual predator of the most evil kind” as he was jailed for 25 years for more than 35 sexual offences, including the rape of a 13-year-old girl.
Ian Naude, 30, was found guilty last month of raping and sexually assaulting the teenager who he met while serving with Cheshire police.
He was jailed for a total of 37 offences against nine victims and was described by the judge, Clement Goldstone QC, as having an “insatiable appetite” for young girls whom he groomed online.
It emerged after his conviction that Naude had been named as a suspect in cases in neighbouring forces before taking up a post with Cheshire police in April 2017.
The student police officer was vetted in October 2016 and given the all-clear to join Cheshire police in the new year.
But his start date was delayed while Staffordshire police investigated a rape allegation against him. When no further action was taken, Naude took up his position in April.
Seven months later, he had groomed, assaulted and raped the 13-year-old girl whom he had met three days earlier when he was called to a domestic incident at her home.
When Cheshire police investigated those offences in November 2017, detectives found he had been named as a suspect to Staffordshire police in January 2017 for sexual activity with a child. The same month, West Mercia police had received an allegation he was persistently asking a girl to meet him.
Cheshire police said they were not made aware of either investigation at the time because neither force knew that Naude was about to become a police officer.
Although details of the allegations were on the police national computer, there was no obligation for Cheshire police to revet him. The force said it had now changed its vetting process.
In a statement released after the sentencing at Liverpool crown court, the 13-year-old girl’s family said Naude had “abused our faith and trust in him as a police officer”. He had “destroyed our lives, our family and, most of all, the innocence of our daughter”.
“He entered our house, which felt at that time like a safe haven for our family, and has effectively destroyed that feeling. We do not know the long-term effects this will have on our daughter. We still cannot explain to her why this horrific and sickening abuse happened to her.”
DI Kate Tomlinson, of Cheshire police, described Naude as a “sexual predator of the most evil kind” who had “completely traumatised” his nine victims.
She added: “He joined Cheshire police with the sole purpose of gaining a position of trust so he could prey on young, vulnerable girls. His behaviour and actions were truly appalling and the sentence handed down to him today reflects that.
“It was Ian Naude’s job to enforce the law and protect people from harm. Instead he became the most dangerous of predators and betrayed the very people he swore to protect.”