A KNIVETON man has been jailed for paying for the sexual services of a child.
John Shaw, 55, was among eight men to be sentenced to a total of more than 42 years at Derby Crown Court on Monday.
The men have been banned from working with children for life and must sign the sex offenders register.
Shaw, along with four others, had denied the charges, but was found guilty of two charges of paying for the sexual services of a child following a fourweek trial at the court this summer.
Three of the defendants had previously admitted the crimes.
Judge John Gosling said during sentencing: “In recent times and recent years in this country, we have begun to realise that sexual abuse is becoming more prevalent.
“The public has been deeply shocked by the most extreme form to manifest itself in Rochdale, where a gang systematically abused girls.
“The context of this prosecution is far removed from those extreme circumstances. I am not dealing with a team of predators.” Shaw, who lives in a caravan at a farm in Kniveton, was found guilty of paying the same girl for sexual activity on two occasions, both of which happened at a golf course in Sinfin, Derby, when she was 15.
He was found not guilty of assaulting her when she told him she did not want to have sex with him.
Video footage from 2010 of Shaw checking into a Derby hotel with two girls was shown during the trial.
On sentencing Shaw to four years and 11 months in prison, Judge Gosling added: “You invited her to your farm. You enticed her with the suggestion of visits to Waterworld and the zoo.” Shaw’s barrister, Avik Mukhajee, told the court: “He denied the offences at the time and continues to deny the offences.
“He was not violent, he did not use drugs or alcohol in any way, he made no threats.
“He had visited prostitutes in the past, he was not going out looking for children.” All eight men were arrested as part of Operation Kern which was launched by police after concerns about girls out on the streets at night were confirmed when a 15-year-old admitted men had paid her for sex and taken indecent pictures of her.
In total, 15 girls, some of whom were in care, were found to be involved, with five named as victims in the case and two as witnesses.
Between July and November 2010, 14 men were arrested and 10 have now been prosecuted.
Detective Superintendent Andy Stokes, head of Public Protection with Derbyshire Police, said: “I’m pleased with the sentences passed today, not only because they reflect the hard work and dedication of the officers involved but more importantly, because the victims have seen justice done.
“These girls were young and vulnerable and were exploited by men who groomed them and bought them presents to keep them on side.
“They showed tremendous bravery in coming forward and speaking to police and by providing vital evidence to ensure these convictions.”