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Female teenage paedophile jailed for assaulting young girls

Sophie Elms began her offending when she was 16. Photo: Wiltshire Police

A teenage paedophile has been detained for nearly eight years for sexually assaulting two young girls.

Sophie Elms, 18, filmed the abuse she committed on the pre-school aged children and sent it to another paedophile.

She also took indecent photographs of a third girl and downloaded other indecent images from the internet, Swindon Crown Court heard.

Elms, a childcare student at Swindon College, was arrested after police traced images discovered on a convicted sex offender's mobile phone back to her.

The court heard that Elms committed most of the offences when she was 17, although the offending began when she was 16.

Elms was jailed for almost eight years at Swindon Crown Court Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

During sentencing, the court was told that one of the families who had trusted Elms now planned to leave Wiltshire.

"In time we hope to be able to regain our trust in people but forever our fears will remain," the father said.

"We feel like the ones trapped in our own home – as if we have been given a life sentence."

At a previous hearing, Elms, of Royal Wootton Bassett, pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault by penetration, two charges of sexual assault by touching, four charges of taking indecent images, six charges of distributing incident images and two charges of possessing extreme pornography.

Chris Smyth, defending, said: "Even now at the age of 18 she comes across as naive, immature for her age and lacking in social skills that one might expect for an 18-year-old.

"She was and remains a vulnerable and immature girl, who for reasons that perhaps go to her own lack of social skills, was finding it difficult in making friends at school and difficulties in finding a boyfriend."

Judge Jason Taylor QC sentenced Elms to seven years and 10 months’ detention, placed her on the sex offenders register indefinitely and made her subject of a sexual harm prevention order until further order.

He said: "In my judgment you knew precisely what you were doing. Your behaviour had elements of planning, it was sustained and it was extensive.

"You knew it was wrong. You had done safeguarding training. You deceived the parents of these children."