A paedophile who turned a knife on himself and two female police officers when his abuse of a teenage girl came to light has been jailed for 14 years.
The youngster’s family branded Paul Lowden, 44, a “monster” after he was given a lifetime restraining order banning him from contacting the girl again. Lowden, of Station Road, Hesketh Bank, told probation officers: “When you meet the one, age is irrelevant - you can’t help who you fall in love with” when questioned about his “relationship” with the teenage girl.
But despite the girl telling school, social workers and probation officers Lowden’s attention was unwanted, he maintained the youngster was his “soulmate” and “the one for me” when interviewed for a pre-sentence report.
The court heard Lowden bought the youngster a heart shaped necklace, in two parts, engraved with the words “love” and “courage”, which he and the teenager wore.
On one occasion, when Lowden told the youngster he was “living the dream” when she asked him what he was doing to her.
Judge Graham Knowles, sentencing, said: “Those were wicked words accompanied by wicked actions and they give a truly disturbing insight into your mind and your ruthless self-obsession.”
Lowden’s crimes came to light when the girl broke down at school.
Police officers visited a house where they believed Lowden may have been but after looking through the property and seizing a laptop and hard drive, he appeared from a cupboard which was obscured from sight, brandishing a large kitchen knife.
He told the court he would kill himself and jabbed at the two unarmed female officers with the knife, demanding that the girl was brought to him. Sara Dodd, prosecuting, said: “DC Johnston describes him as ‘chilling’. His eyes were dead and he displayed no emotion.”
Lowden held the knife to his throat and the officers believed he was capable of killing himself. As he jabbed the knife towards DC Karen Johnson’s stomach, she held a book in front of her to protect herself from injury, deflecting the knife.
Miss Dodd said: “During the confrontation, DC Johnson feared she would not see her children again.”
Lowden pleaded guilty to affray and four counts of sexual activity with a child, along with nine counts of possession of extreme pornography, relating to images found on a hard drive.
Judge Knowles said: “(The girl) was 13 at the outset of this and you had been grooming her for some time.
“It was the plainest grooming and the plainest coercion. You are in my assessment, a wholly self centred man.
“You can not or will not see any other person as having the kind of human feelings, needs or entitlement that you have. Your idea of love bears no relation to any adult understanding of the term and is in itself a form of self gratification.”
The judge said Lowden viewed the extreme pornography for his own gratifaction, adding: “You took pleasure in that foul abuse of human beings.”
Speaking after the sentence, the girl’s family said: “He is an absolute monster but the court saw through him.
“It is just a relief now that we can get on with our lives and know he can never contact her again.”