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Photo evidence proved man was a paedophile

PUBLISHED: 16:56 25 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:33 12 August 2010

A SEX tourist who travelled to Thailand to abuse young girls was caught when a photograph of a hand molesting a youngster was proved to belong to him.  Dean Hardy, 49, Charterhouse Road, Orpington, took sick pictures of himself to swap with his paedophile

A SEX tourist who travelled to Thailand to abuse young girls was caught when a photograph of a hand molesting a youngster was proved to belong to him.

Dean Hardy, 49, Charterhouse Road, Orpington, took sick pictures of himself to swap with his paedophile friends.

An expert compared pictures of his hand with the one in the porn pictures and confirmed it was his.

The furniture dealer was forced to admit a series of child porn charges and two counts of indecent assault on girls under the age of 14 at Southwark Crown Court last Thursday.

Prosecutor Peter Zinner said: "This is a fairly unusual case with very unusual features."

The defendant, who runs a business importing Far Eastern furniture, first came to the attention of the Metropolitan Police's Paedophile Unit when he began downloading abuse pictures from the internet.

His home was raided on September 9, 2007 and police seized a computer and two camera memory cards. The girls in the shots were all aged under 10.

Mr Zinner said: "On the computer they found five indecent photographs of children. The memory cards were both analysed and on these there were some effectively home made or home taken indecent images of children.

"All the children depicted appeared to be from South East Asia and following interviews with Mr Hardy it was established that the photos had been taken in Thailand."

Hardy travelled to the popular holiday destination in December 2002 and again in March 2004. Two of the 63 snaps found showed girls being touched by an adult hand.

Mr Zinner said: "In all of these pictures there is no facial image of Mr Hardy but it was clear there was an adult hand touching a young girl."

Police took a picture of the paedophile's hands and consulted a forensic anthropologist who confirmed that it was Hardy.

Other shots showed a girl being raped by another man and Hardy admitted taking the pictures.

Mr Zinner said: "In the Crown's submission he is a sex tourist, to use a colloquial phrase, who travels abroad to commit these types of offences."

It is the first case in which a paedophile has been identified from a picture of his hand alone.

Remanding Hardy in custody, Judge Michael Gledhill QC said: "Following your guilty pleas to this serious indictment, you accept by not making a bail application that a custodial sentence is inevitable."

The judge ordered a pre sentence report to be created to assess Hardy. He will be sentenced on April 21.

Hardy admitted two counts of indecent assault, four counts of taking indecent photos of children and one of possession such images.

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