Page last updated at 19:34 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 20:34 UK

Spy software snares child abuser

Nicholas Lovell
Lovell kept contacting the girl despite a police warning

A father has told how he installed spy software on his 15-year-old daughter's computer to find out her ice hockey coach was having sex with her.

Nicholas Lovell, 38, from Guildford, Surrey, was convicted of five counts of sexual activity with a child and jailed for four-and-a-half years.

He taught the girl in Bracknell in 2006 when the relationship began.

Despite a police warning, he continued the relationship and was caught when e-mails and chat logs were monitored.

The teenager's father, who cannot be named to protect his daughter's identity, told BBC Radio Berkshire: "The first inkling was when I took the family on holiday and everywhere I went she followed me.

"It was like she wanted to tell me something but couldn't.

He is now beginning a lengthy period of incarceration for his crimes against a vulnerable young girl
Det Con Paul Kerr, Thames Valley Police

"It then came to point that my daughter wasn't at the places she was saying she was going to be.

"We called the police who came round and told the pair to have nothing to do with each other."

As no offences had been disclosed Lovell was only given a warning about his behaviour.

He also signed an agreement to have no further contact with the girl.

The girl's father said: "At this point, my daughter went out for a day with my wife and I installed the software onto the family PC.

"Over a period of about three or four weeks I was getting all the e-mails he was sending and all their messenger conversations.

"That was when I realised that something untoward was going on and called in police."

'Invading her privacy'

Lovell used various false names to maintain contact, hoping to evade detection but was arrested after the evidence was passed to police.

It was later discovered he was introducing the girl at his place of work as his girlfriend and took her to work functions.

On several occasions he also took her to hotels where he had intercourse with her, police said.

Lovell was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely. He was also disqualified from working with children.

The teenager's father has now installed the software onto all his children's computers.

He added: "To start off with I was very concerned, I did feel like I was invading her privacy but then of course once one of these e-mails came through I knew I had done the right thing.

"I picked up the software for 60 and is the best thing I have ever bought and is now on all my children's PCs."

He said despite his daughter initially not talking to him after the incident their relationship was now "stronger than ever".

Det Con Paul Kerr, of the child abuse investigation unit, said: "Lovell maintained a not guilty plea throughout the trial and tried to place the blame on the victim.

"He should have known better but chose to make his victim go through a trial, with the trauma that it caused, rather than admit to his crimes.

"He is now beginning a lengthy period of incarceration for his crimes against a vulnerable young girl."

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