A Stow-on-the-Wold businessman who asked a judge to 'throw the book' at him for his sexual abuse and attempted rape of a young girl has been jailed for ten years.

The 36-year-old man, who cannot be named by court order, had told Gloucester Crown Court that he wanted to ‘fall on his sword’ and pay the full price for his offences against the girl, which included filming his attempt to rape her.

Prosecutor Richard Posner told the court yesterday that Gloucestershire Police were alerted by the National Crime Agency that indecent images of a child were being uploaded from an address in the Stow area.

“A search was made of the defendant's home address and in the garage a tablet computer was found, which the man said was linked to his drone equipment.

“The device was examined and found to contain a Twitter account in the name of an innocent man in an effort to conceal what the defendant was doing on line.

“It is believed this device had been used to take and store pictures and videos of the young girl.

“It was also used to contact a number of like-minded users as it was full of suggested sexual activity with a young girl.

“The conversations reveal that he clearly had a sexual interest in children. The photographs show that he had been using the device for over a year and the footage on it included the attempted rape of the girl while she slept.

“His degree of knowledge enabled him to build up a network of fellow users on Twitter, in which conversations were had, and indecent images and videos of other children shared.”

Defence barrister Anjali Gohil said: “He doesn’t want me to mitigate too much as he wants the book thrown at him.

“He has considered taking his own life but said that this was the coward’s way out and decided that it was best to face the music."

The defendant wrote a letter to the judge which was read out in court.

It said “I am filled with shame, sorrow and guilt. I am absolutely sickened by the awful things I have done. I am deeply sorry."

The man had pleaded guilty to attempting to rape the girl as she slept; two charges of sexual assault of a girl between April 2017 and June last year and four charges of taking indecent images of a child between the same dates and three charges of distributing some of the images.

Judge Michael Cullum told the defendant, who stood wearing a light blue shirt in the dock, “I wouldn’t be surprised if in the years to come your victim will be psychologically affected by your actions.

“Your life is irretrievably ruined. You were of previous good character and led a decent law abiding industrious life."

The defendant began visibly shaking in the dock as the judge spelt out his 10 year prison term with a one year extended parole licence at the end.

The judge warned him that he would not be considered for parole until he had served at least two thirds of the sentence.

The judge also subjected the man to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order which prohibits him using the internet without permission or having any contact with girls under the age of 16.

The man was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

The judge further ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the man's tablet computer.