A convicted paedophile who took upskirt images of girls as young as four on family outings has walked free from court after a judge ruled the children had not ‘suffered’.
Gordon Dreghorn, 48, secretly took pictures up little girls’ skirts in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester.
Dreghorn was arrested and hauled before the courts in August after he was spotted hanging around Piccadilly Gardens – an area popular with parents and children as it has a playground and fountains. He managed to take pictures of the youngsters’ underwear – one of whom was only four years of age.
His behaviour aroused the suspicions of some members of the public who were ‘concerned about his activities’ and tipped off police officers in the area, William Donnelly, prosecuting, told Manchester Crown Court.
However, he was not sent to prison as a judge said Dreghorn, who was himself ‘horrifically’ abused as a child, ‘needed help’.
Dreghorn had previously been jailed for three years after he stalked and took more than 600 upskirt images of children as they walked around the city of Lancaster.
In 2003, the former college security guard was branded a ‘predator’ amid suspicions he was using the photos to meet other paedophiles on the dark web.
At Manchester Crown Court Judge Martin Rudland said Dreghorn, now from Accrington, needed help in a sex offender rehabilitation programme after reading a report about his childhood.
In particularly shocking comments, Judge Rudland said “It’s little wonder your attitudes to women and relationships, normal sexual development and social interaction have been contaminated, and it is little wonder you have ended up committing offences of this kind.”
“Whatever was the driver for you loosening your inhibitions on this occasion, you were surreptitious in your capturing of these images. These children were blissfully unaware of what you were undertaking – and have not had to suffer the consequences. They have been caused no harm by it.”
Dreghorn was sentenced to a three year community order where he will have to take part in a number of probation service treatments and rehabilitation programmes.
He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention, which contains a number of rules around his access to children, and access to the Internet etc, for five years.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)