A “dangerous” teenage paedophile who abused nine nursery children over a three-week period has been sentenced to 14 and a half years.
Apprentice Jayden McCarthy abused his position to carry out a series of serious offences against young children at the age of 16.
A trial at Exeter Crown Court heard sick McCarthy, now 18, raped one child and molested eight others.
Judge David Evans – who said the defendant committed “blazingly obvious incidents of sexual assault” – sentenced him to a total of 14.5 years youth detention.
Victims’ family members clapped as the judge jailed him.
He will serve seven years behind bars and will be strictly monitored on release and faces a further three year period on licence.
The judge told the teenager this afternoon: “You are a dangerous offender and pose a significant risk to members of the public of causing serious harm by the commission of further specified sexual offences. You could barely contain your sexual urges in that nursery.
“Between June 26th and July 29th you sexually assaulted eight other children in your care aged two and four on 13 separate and blazingly obvious incidents of sexual assault.”
He continued: “You are immature. I take into account your childhood experiences, childhood abuse and significant neglect. There are not clear mental health issues but you have a psychiatric illness.
“You had obtained a job in a nursery and you had received safeguarding and training in the need to protect the young and vulnerable children whose care was entrusted to you.”
It was heard that the offences came to light when a girl came home from nursery and told her parents that an adult called Jayden had sexually abused her.
One parent told the court: “It was a big shock and we didn’t really know what to do.”
The parents immediately called the nursery to ask who Jayden was and report what had happened.
“I asked if they had someone called Jayden working there as I hadn’t heard of him before then and I asked if Jayden had got my daughter changed because she had said he had changed her in the toilets.”
The parents visited the nursery that evening looking for answers and were told McCarthy had been suspended while the claims were investigated.
Police launched a major investigation.
McCarthy admitted changing the girl out of wet clothes in the toilet but denied any sexual offence. The incident was not captured on CCTV.
A member of staff said she noticed he had taken longer than usual to change the child.
She went to see what was happening and McCarthy said he was having trouble getting her dressed.
McCarthy, from Brixham, was charged with 16 offences, which he denied.
Police searched through more than 250 hours of other footage from the weeks leading up to the offence to see if there were any other incidents of sexual behaviour.
They found 13 incidents which caused concern.
The jury was played clips of CCTV which showed McCarthy sexually assaulting children.
He would often sexually assault children while playing with them on the ground or while applying sun cream to their bodies, the prosecution said.
Prosecutor Jason Beal said: “Over the course of several weeks in 2019 Jayden McCarthy sexually assaulted nine children.
“These assaults were of varying degrees of seriousness, ranging from touching children over and under clothing in their private areas to an incident of rape.”