A Cheltenham dad did not do anything to stop his nine-year-old daughter having sex with several boys and allowed her to watch pornography, a court was told yesterday (September 10).

The neglectful 64-year-old single parent – who brought up his two children alone after his wife died when they were young – took no measures to stop the girl engaging in sexual activity with boys her own age and a little older, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

The prosecution said the man regularly watched pornography on his mobile phone and did not attempt to stop his daughter from seeing it on a paired "family iPad" she was allowed to use, reports GloucestershireLive.

The dad, who can't be named for legal reasons, was also leaving his children in the care of a suspected paedophile who lived nearby in their early lives for a period of two months, prosecutor Mark Worsley told the court.

When police questioned him about it, he admitted that he thought the man "might have been a child molestor".

He also told the police that he had caught his daughter in the front room with a boy when she was just eight in a state of undress but he had “thought nothing of it and let it be”.

The dad pleaded guilty to a charge of neglecting or ill-treating a child in his care in a way that would cause her unnecessary suffering or injury when she was aged between nine and 10 in 2016/17.

Prosecutor Mark Worsley said: "It is not known exactly how many boys she has had sexual intercourse or sexual activity with."

He said the girl and her elder sibling have now been taken into foster care.

The situation first came to light when in June 2016, a boy who had sex with the girl three times when she was nine told his father about it. The boy's father then informed their primary school and social services.

Social workers went to the defendant's home and realised that he was failing to supervise his daughter or minimise the risks to her welfare.

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He admitted that he had failed to speak to the girl about her sexual liaisons and he also admitted he had been viewing porn and she was seeing it on a linked tablet, said Mr Worsley.

Two weeks later a social worker found photos of the girl's naked bottom and a boy's penis on the iPad.

The girl, when questioned, said she and the boy pictured on the iPad had attempted to have intercourse after watching her dad's porn.

The Family Court made a child protection order later in 2016 and introduced safeguarding to prevent unsuitable internet use, Mr Worsley said.

Police arrested the dad on July 20, 2017, and, while being interviewed, the girl said she'd had intercourse with five boys aged from 8 to 15.

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She spoke of having intercourse on a total of nine occasions and of three other instances of sexual activity and said that sometimes it was watched by others.

The father told police he knew nothing of any of the girl's sexual encounters and he denied neglecting his children.

Susan Cavender, representing the dad, said: ""He admits, however, that his failure to supervise amounts to neglect. His chief offence is lack of intervention.

"He realises he has been a failure as far as his children are concerned and he is struggling to come to terms with that. He was not the parent he wished to be."

The defendant was sentenced to two years jail suspended for two years, ordered to attend 32 rehabilitation activity days, undergo six months of drug rehabilitation, and fined £120.

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