A Preston student who filmed a six-year-old boy in the toilets of a Lancashire pub, and also downloaded indecent images of other youngsters from the dark web, has been handed a suspended jail sentence at Preston Crown Court.
James Peter Gildea, 23, received an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years.
He targeted the youngster last July at a restroom at Fairhaven Lake in Lytham, a place the child was visiting for the day with his family.
Gildea, whose family hail from Garstang, was also ordered to do 25 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and 250 hours of unpaid community work.
He was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the sex offenders register, both for the next 10 years.
Gildea’s phone, laptop and the images will also being destroyed.
Speaking after the sentencing on Friday, the parents of the victim – who cannot be identified – praised the police for their help in the case.
The victim’s mum said: “No one can ever describe the pain we have gone through. It’s very difficult to put it into words. We just want to praise the police for their efforts to bring about justice.”
The case was adjourned in April for sentencing after former Cardinal Newman College student Gildea admitted six sexual offences at Preston Crown Court for voyeurism, taking indecent photographers, three counts of making indecent images, and possessing an extreme image involving a horse.
Investigating officer Joshua Gardner from Lancashire Constabulary Online Child Abuse Investigation Team said:“The police will continue to work closely with the digital media industry to proactively identify and target online offenders who use the internet for their own depraved purposes. This case has shown that James Gildea is a predatory individual, interested only in his own sexual gratification.
“If anyone has been the victim of a sexual offence or has information about people who are committing this type of offence I would urge them to come forward and report it in the knowledge that all reports are taken seriously and investigated sensitively and thoroughly”.