A judge praised the work of police officers who helped put an 'evil predator' behind bars.
Two Durham police officers and a civilian member of staff have been commended by a judge for their work in bringing the child rapist to justice.
Keith Jacobs, formerly of Shotton Colliery, subjected the child to ‘horrifying’ abuse which was described by Durham Constabulary officers as one of the worst cases they had ever seen.
He took images of himself abusing the child and shared them with like-minded individuals around the world.
Police in Canada initially alerted Durham Constabulary to the images, which officers traced back to Jacobs. His phone was seized and the contents downloaded, revealing the horrific material.
Officers meticulously examined the footage and found clothing in the background of some of the footage matched clothing Jacobs was wearing in other pictures and videos, which linked him to the crimes.
They also identified that the abuser was wearing a distinctive ring, which was later found at Jacob’s property and seized by officers.
The 57-year-old admitted one count of rape of a child, assault by penetration, sexual assault and three counts of making and distributing indecent images of children. The images ranged from category A – the most serious – through to category C.
At Durham Crown Court last Friday, Judge Christopher Prince jailed Jacobs for 26 years, with an extended licence period of six years.
During the sentencing, he awarded Detective Sergeants Tony Elliott and Joanne Godber, and forensic examiner Adam Grundy judicial commendations for their work on the ‘complex and protracted’ investigation.
He said: "It is an investigation which has self-evidently been conducted meticulously and tenaciously by the officers."
Speaking after the sentencing, Det Sgt Elliott said: "This was an extremely challenging and upsetting investigation which was one of the worst cases of child abuse I have ever seen.
"Jacobs is an evil predator who targeted the vulnerable. I am pleased that he will now spend a significant length of time behind bars and hope he uses that time to reflect on the impact of his actions.
"I also hope this sentence shows that sexual abuse against anyone in County Durham and Darlington will not be tolerated, and we will go to great lengths to thoroughly investigate offences and bring those who commit these horrific crimes to justice.
"The victim in this case has been safeguarded and will receive ongoing support to help them come to terms with their abuse."