May 2018

Monster jailed for campaign of sickening abuse against girl which has ‘completely ruined her life’

A 52-year-old Winchcombe man who filmed himself raping a young girl during a campaign of sexual offending against her has been jailed for a total of eight years and eight months.

Sobbing David Ballinger was told by a judge at Gloucester Crown Court that his behaviour towards the girl was ‘depraved’ and he had ‘completely ruined her life’.

Ballinger was arrested in January when the offences were first reported. He pleaded guilty to raping a girl under 13 between 2011 and 2014. He also admitted raping the same girl between 2017 and 2018 on at least two separate occasions.

And he admitted sexual activity with the girl on at least seven occasions between 2014 and 2017.

In addition, Ballinger pleaded guilty to a charge of voyeurism by installing a camera so he could watch the girl and three offences of possession of child pornography – nine videos and a still picture at the worst Category A level, 24 stills and 162 videos of Category B and 935 stills and 206 videos of Category C.

James Ward, prosecuting, said the offences all came to light when the girl’s mother called police to her home in Winchcombe on January 18 this year and told them her daughter had been sexually abused by Ballinger.

The mother had discovered what was going on when she looked at the girl’s iPad. It showed the girl had sent sexual photos and videos of herself to Ballinger.

The girl had also spoken on the iPad about Ballinger touching her.

When police interviewed the girl she said she had been sexually abused by Ballinger when she was a young teenager and they had used the iPad to communicate with each other.

However, Mr Ward said, the first rape charge Ballinger admitted related to abuse when she was much younger. Ballinger had filmed it in a video lasting almost two minutes.

Throughout Mr Ward’s address to the court, Ballinger sat with his head bowed and tearful in the dock.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said he had read a victim personal statement from the girl and its contents were ‘painful’.

It showed the long-term impact the offences had on the girl, he said.

Jailing Ballinger, Judge Lawrie said the sentence would have been 13 years if he had not pleaded guilty and earned the maximum one-third discount from his sentence.

“It is important that you appreciate the magnitude of the harm you have caused,” the judge told Ballinger.

“The passage of time is not going to assuage the emotional and psychological stress and suffering that are the consequences of this behaviour.”

The judge told Ballinger he would have to sign the sex offender register for the rest of his life.

After sending Ballinger down to the cells, the judge cleared the court so he could speak privately to relatives of the girl who had been waiting all day to hear his fate.