A nursery worker in Coventry will serve 12-and-a-half years in prison for sexually assaulting a three-year-old in his care.
James Riley was also found guilty of possessing indecent images of children, after being caught with a cache of 200 such pictures. In court, he attempted to explain his fetish by claiming he fantasised about being the abused child.
Riley's crime came to light when the toddler told his mother what the 42-year-old had done to him.
The parents called the police and the boy was interviewed alongside a National Crime Agency-registered intermediary, who assisted the three-year-old in giving evidence. He again repeated what had happened to him.
Officers arrested Riley at the nursery in Coventry on 16 August. After searching Riley’s address they also seized a laptop and iPad.
A full forensic analysis of his iPad revealed an encrypted app that Riley had tried to hide. Subsequent forensic analysis showed the app contained a vault of more than 181 indecent images and videos of young boys as well as a private browser from which Riley was able to access this material. A further 19 indecent images of children were also found on Riley’s laptop.
Riley denied he had a specific sexual interest in children - but instead claimed he viewed child pornography because he liked to imagine himself as the victim in the photos.
Although Riley admitted possessing indecent images of children, he denied sexual assault - meaning the child and his family had to go through a trial.
Detective Constable Clare Thorley from the Public Protection Unit, said: “At no point did Riley show remorse for what he had done to this child. His only concern was himself and the result of being caught with the indecent images of children.
“Anyone who downloads photographs of the abuse of children creates a market for those photographs which leads to other children being abused.
“The bravery of the little boy and his parents for coming forward is to be commended. They were incredibly dignified and courageous when giving evidence in what was a very difficult and harrowing time for all. It is thanks to this brave little boy and his family that Riley has received the punishment he deserves and he can no longer hurt other children."