Child rapes and sex assaults discovered after police visit

THE CASE against a paedophile from the West Wight handed a life sentence for serious sexual offences against youngsters — including rape — came to light after one of his nine victims came forward and told her mother.

Jonathan Richard Maertens will serve a minimum of 16 years after he admitted 34 sexual offences against children over the course of a decade.

Early last year, Maertens met a single mother in Southampton and, on occasions, they stayed with him at his address in Richmond Meade, Freshwater.

He also stayed with them on occasions in Southampton.

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Matters came to light on May 23 this year when the first victim, known to the court as ‘Child 1’ stayed over at his home with her mother, said Rebecca Fairbairn, prosecuting, at the Isle of Wight Crown Court today (Monday).

The youngster told her mother Maertens, 35, had touched her private parts over her clothing once and, on their return to Southampton, the police were contacted.

In the early hours of June 4, officers visited Maertens to arrest him on suspicion of sexual assault on a child.

However, on their arrival, police could see him inside his bungalow, but he refused to answer his door.

One of the officers gained entry through a window and, during the arrest, Maertens grabbed the officer’s right hand, pulling it backwards, which caused him significant pain, the court heard.

Police also discovered a sophisticated cannabis growing operation in the loft.

A lot of electronics, cash and cannabis was seized. There were 50 plants, estimated to be worth a minimum of £4,620.

While the arrest was taking place, one of the officers saw Maertens trying to conceal some hard drives.

When he was interviewed, he denied any sexual assualt against ‘Child 1’.

An initial inspection of a tablet seized revealed a significant number of first-generation indecent images of children.

Maertens was identified in them by his tattoos, said Miss Fairbairn.

A girl, identified as ‘Child 2′, Maertens’ second victim, was identified from them as well.

The hard drives were analysed and immediately child abuse videos were located.

On June 24, police revisited Maertens, where upon he was arrested on suspicion of the rape of ‘Child 2’ and possession of indecent images of children.

Additionally, police discovered a blister pack of zopiclone, a sleeping pill, bought by Maertens and not prescribed to him.

A safe was also found. Among its contents was a video recorder, a bag containing a further 172 zopicline tablets, a pill cutter, cameras, camcorders, children’s underwear, lingerie, high heeled shoes, wigs and restraints.

He was interviewed by officers three times that day.

Maertens said he had urges he had to control and that his mind was twisted and perverted and that he was addicted to ‘poppers’ since he was aged 19.

He admitted he would commit lewd acts on children when he was ‘off his face’ with drugs or alcohol.

Martens initially denied raping ‘Child 2’, but admitted he started abusing ‘Child 1’ straight away after meeting her mother, judge Tim Mousley was told.

He then confirmed two other victims, known as ‘Child 3’ and ‘Child 4’ and denied rape.

On examination of the hard drive, 9,027 movies, of Category A to C, of which 2,479 were first generation.

There were 209,380 stills, of which 12,344 were first generation.

The first-generation images and film were taken by Maertens. The recording came from a very sophisticated set up, with recording devices set up at different locations within the room and used another camcorder to give his own eye view of the abuse and rape.

Isle of Wight County Press | News