POLICE in Dorset have been praised for their investigation against one of the county’s worst-ever sex offenders.

Father-of-six David Shepherd will be sentenced this month for a series of sexual offences, many of which involve the abuse of young children in the Philippines.

The 60-year-old was arrested after police raided the Loders Arms near Bridport, where the defendant was working as a landlord.

Detective Constable David Baker, from Dorset Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), described the case as “the most horrific” he had ever worked on.

“David Shepherd is an individual who presents a serious risk and danger to young children. For many years he has used the internet to commit live sexual abuse, which he recorded,” DC Baker said.

“Such was David Shepherd’s arrogance of his offending he pleaded not guilty despite the overwhelming evidence against him.

“The jury on the first trial saw through his lies and their verdict has gone a long way to prevent innocent children being harmed by Shepherd again.”

Ryan Mahan from ECPAT UK, a leading children’s charity campaigning against child trafficking and child sexual exploitation, said: “ECPAT UK commends Dorset Police for helping to secure the conviction of David Shepherd, especially given the UK’s astonishingly poor record of prosecuting UK citizens who travel abroad to rape and abuse vulnerable children.

“Despite the fact that we, as an organisation, have monitored hundreds of cases of child sexual abuse overseas by UK nationals, there have been very few convictions under UK extra-territorial law – as few as two in 2013.

“This case highlights the complexities of transnational child sexual abuse, particularly how offenders exploit technology, collaborate with criminal trafficking networks and target vulnerable children abroad for their own sexual or financial gratification.

“However, we must never let this undermine our efforts to protect children anywhere offenders from the UK may travel.

“Our leaders, from the Prime Minister to the National Crime Agency, must do more to demonstrate their commitment to truly protecting children everywhere from these heinous crimes.”

An NSPCC spokesperson for South West England said: “This extremely distressing case.

“Shepherd personally arranged, financed and photographed the abuse himself.

“The youngsters in these pictures and films are the victims of unspeakable abuse and the harrowing experiences they endured should not be underestimated.”