Twisted man who filmed himself sexually abusing four-year-old girls jailed

A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to life with a minimum of 16 years for recording images of himself sexually assaulting girls from the age of four.

Jonathan Maertens, of Richmond Meade, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, had collected 197,000 indecent images of children and 6,500 videos on his hard drives.

Of these, 2,500 footage and 12,000 images showed his own insults against girls between the ages of four and 17.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: “A specialized team of officers identified all the children against whom the suspected crimes committed and they and their families have received support from all authorities throughout the time.

“In many cases Maertens edited the images and saved them on hard drives at his home. At this stage there is no evidence that these images were further distributed.”

The defendant pleaded guilty to Newport Crown District Court on 34 charges, including 10 charges of rape.

He also pleaded guilty to one charge of assaulting a counselor by spanking, and one of producing cannabis.

Detective Inspector Toby Elcock said, “Jonathan Maertens manipulated situations to facilitate access to children, including in some cases intoxicating them, before documenting his abuse.

“His actions have caused unimaginable damage to the girls and their families and I hope this punishment can bring them the justice they deserve.

“Services will continue to support these children and their families so they can move on with their lives.

“Our research has also tried to protect other children who may have been in contact with Maertens.”