FOR two years he had kept his shame a secret.
Unknown to his wife, Philip Cant had recorded a 80-minute video of him molesting a young girl who he had lured to a room where he had set up cameras to film them.
The youngster had legitimately posed for pictures to help the paedophile and his wife promote their children’s clothing business.
Cant kept the video, which also showed shots of the girl semi-naked, on a computer memory stick for future viewing for his own sexual gratification.
And he got away with it – until he worked abroad as an engineer in Belgium.
A colleague found the stick, discovered the images and called police in Antwerp. They arrested Cant and notified colleagues in England.
Cant admitted assaulting the girl and keeping the images.
Gavin Sumpter, prosecuting at Southampton Crown Court, said: “He admitted in interview he was a paedophile and had been since he was 15-year-old, with a preference for girls aged between six and eight.”
Cant, 55, of Myrtle Road, Southampton, pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault and four of making an indecent image. He received a four-year jail term with a six-year extended licence.
The court heard Cant had two significant previous convictions. In 1972 he admitted sexually abusing an eight-year-old and in 1989 he had committed gross indecency with a five-year-old.
Sentencing, Judge Derwin Hope said: “You have acknowledged you can’t be alone with young girls and not abuse them. You pose a significant risk of causing significant harm to the public.”
The judge ordered Cant to be placed on the sex offenders’ register and the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, both indefinitely.
In mitigation, Neil Fitzgibbon said Cant was ashamed of his behaviour and had referred himself for psychological assessment to try to combat his desires.