16 years for North Devon paedophile Graham Godbeer who had sex with dog
A paedophile who ruined the childhoods of two girls who he groomed for sex has been jailed for 16 years.
Graham Godbeer, of Veale Close, Hatherleigh, first struck in the late 1970s when he persuaded a five-year-old girl to go on outings with him by offering her ice creams.
He went on to abuse her after stopping at remote lay-bys in North Devon and he bullied her into silence by telling her that no-one would believe her.
His attacks remained secret for more than 30 years and only came to light after he was arrested for abusing a second girl whose parents he befriended.
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When he was arrested police found child abuse images on his six mobile phones along with texts from fellow paedophiles in which they shared their experiences of molesting girls and swapped tips for grooming new victims.
Detectives are still trying to trace a girl who was filmed being abused in one of the images on his phone which they fear may have been taken by a fellow paedophile and sent to him.
They are also investigating whether Godbeer may have abused other victims in the 30 years between the two sets of offences they have already uncovered.
Godbeer denied rape and three counts of indecency against the first victim but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court.
He admitted sexual assault on the second girl, eight offences of possessing child pornography, and three of possessing extreme adult pornography.
He was jailed for a total of 16 years and seven months by Judge John Neligan, who told him he had caused great psychological harm to each of his victims.
He told him: “You took a girl out in your car and started by indecently assaulting her, causing her considerable physical pain.
“The most serious offence was a rape, committed when she was about seven. You raped her some three times of different occasions and she described the pain she suffered.
“In her victim impact statement she describes how she was deprived of a normal childhood and of the enormous emotional distress she has since suffered.
“You abused the second girl after winning her confidence in the form of grooming her by comforting her when she was upset.
“Her mother’s statement shows the victim has not been sleeping well since the offences and has suffered nightmares as a result of what you did and at school they have noticed a change.”
Mr Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said Godbeer was arrested in September 2011 after the ten-year-old daughter of a friend told her mother he had touched her and kissed her while visiting her home.
Police then found the images and messages on his mobile phone and his arrest gave the original victim the courage to come forward after more than 30 years.
Mr Crabb said: “There were text messages from other men on his six mobile phones discussing the sexual abuse of children and encouraging the abuse of children.”
He said detectives also found videos at his home including one showing him naked but for a pair of pants on his head and indulging in sex acts with a Jack Russell dog. He said the discovery caused considerable distress to the dog’s owner, who was Godbeer's ex-wife.
Miss Kelly Scrivener, defending, said Godbeer had admitted the most recent offences and showed genuine remorse for them.
She said he is a grandfather with his own family who had not yet seen three grandchildren born since he has been in custody.
After the case an officer on the inquiry team revealed that police are still hunting for paedophiles who exchanged messages, images and video clips.
She said: “We are still struggling to trace the origins of the images on the mobiles, including a movie of a girl being abused which we have never seen before and we do not believe has come from the internet.
“We are also concerned that although Godbeer committed the first and most serious offences when he was 20 to 22 and may have done other things in the intervening years which we have not uncovered.
“The detailed way in which he talks about child abuse in his text messages suggests there could be more victims and this is still an active investigation.
“We hope he could help us to find other offenders with whom he was exchanging texts about what they had done and techniques of grooming.
“We hope this sentence will encourage any others who may have been abused to come forward, no matter how long ago the abuse may have happened.”