Parents catch child porn picture taker

HORRIFIED parents of a ten-year-old girl managed to chase and catch a paedophile, who had secretly filmed her getting changed on the beach with a video camera hidden inside his rolled-up towel.

By Tracey Sparling

HORRIFIED parents of a ten-year-old girl managed to chase and catch a paedophile, who had secretly filmed her getting changed on the beach with a video camera hidden inside his rolled-up towel.

Today they warned other families to be on the lookout for child porn addicts, posing under the guise of holidaymakers to get near young children.

The mum from Ipswich, who declined to be named, was with her daughter, her boyfriend and his 14-year-old daughter enjoying a day on the beach at Old Felixstowe on August 7, when a man from another family pointed out a 'trainspotter-type' loitering nearby.

The mum said: "I had seen the man walking along by the sea, and thought he looekd a but starnge, and he still had his socks and shoes on despite having a rolled up towel under his arm. he had looked straight at me.

Then this man from another family came up to us and said 'I think he's taking pictures.'

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"My partner and this mans started walking after him, intending to ask him for the film, and he suddenly started running which immediately made them think he was guilty. They sprinted after him across the beach, up a flight of steps by the Spa Pavilion and then I lost sight of them."

She said it later emerged that teenage boys on the beach rang 999 on their mobile phone, as her partner caught the offender and pinned him to the ground near a building site by the Bartlett Hospital.

As the offender fought to struggle free, his catcher had to wedge his elbow under the man's chin to hold him.

Police officers in two cars and a van were quickly on the scene and arrested him, after emptying his bag to find a tiny video camera fixed into his white towel by white masking tape.

The mum only learned the true horror of what he had been filming, when the camera was found and she later called in at Felixstowe Police Station to find out what had happened about him.

She said: "When they chased him, I did wonder if it was all being blown out of proportion and we just wanted to get the film from him. But it sickened me when the police found how the camera had been hidden, and the whole thing so obviously pre-planned, so he could take pictures without holding tyhe camera up to his eye, by leaving the lens just poking through a small round hole.

"The police said the pictures showed he had been filming my daughter getting changed between two beachhuts - which I'd had no idea about. My daughter's ten, and small for her age, which is why the police think he was filming her in particular, and that is just so awful. She was wearing a bikini at the time."

At first she did not tell her daughter why her partner had chased the man, but later relented as the girl kept asking what had happened.

She added: "It makes you realise that men could do this to your children and take the pictures home, and you'd never know about it. Luckily we managed to stop this one in his tracks but there may be others out there on the beach that we'd never know about, and I just people to be aware."

Police today confirmed that a 37-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of taking indecent photographs.

It is believed that officers also searched his home.

A 37-year-old man from Felixstowe who has not been named by police, has been released without charge on police bail, to return to Felixstowe Police Station on October 8.

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