Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 15:23 UK

How 'calculating' abuser was caught

By Wyre Davies
BBC Wales correspondent


e have described David Bye as a "professional paedophile”"

Trapping and convicting such a devious and determined paedophile as David Bye took a long time and a lot of dedicated police work.

According to specialist officers who led the case against Bye he was, in effect, a "professional paedophile" who made it his life's work to target, befriend and eventually abuse young children.

Det Insp Diane Davies works in the public protection unit at Dyfed-Powys Police. As a specialist officer, she is used to dealing with some horrific cases of child abuse and has had to confront some particularly unsavoury and dangerous characters.

David Bye
Police believe David Bye may have drugged his victims

But she said David Bye stands out above almost all others she's investigated over many years.

"David Bye wouldn't do anything so crass or obvious as getting a job working with children," said Det Insp Davies.

"This is a man who has probably had such tendencies for 20 or 30 years and takes a calculating, long-term approach to his pursuit and abuse of children."

Bye's modus operandi, over many years, was essentially the same - to ingratiate himself with young families, winning over the trust of parents who were unaware that he was really only ever interested in their children.

Most recently the 43-year-old, who spent the week working as a chartered accountant, dedicated much of his spare time helping out with other single parents in a mid Wales community - for legal reasons, we cannot say exactly where.

Bye cynically and deliberately used his own young daughter as a means of gaining access to other children.

"Devious and manipulative" is how Det Insp Davies describes the man who portrayed himself as a dedicated father figure, prepared to go the extra mile to help and spend time with vulnerable families and their young children. All the while, of course, Bye was only after one thing.

Det Insp Diane Davies
There are almost certainly many more of David Bye's victims out there
Det Insp Diane Davies

As has been the case with other similar crimes, Bye was eventually caught because of and thanks to modern technology. Thousands of horrific images, showing the abuse of children were found on his computer.

Police had reason to believe that several of the pictures were taken by Bye himself. The problem was, the detail on the pictures was such that it was impossible to initially tell who the victims were or who the abuser was.

Lengthy interrogation

Securing a successful prosecution without a named victim was going to be hard, admitted Det Insp Davies.

Police knew from medical examinations that several young children to whom David Bye had access showed signs of sexual abuse - some had been raped.

None of them though could say for sure that Bye was the abuser. Officers think he may have drugged them.

By a process of elimination and by closely analysing small details in the photos, Det Insp Davies and her team were able to prove the images could only have been taken in a caravan which Bye was renting, on a camera he owned and when Bye was the only adult present in the caravan.

Faced with such incontrovertible evidence, Bye pleaded guilty to a charge of child rape, yet still he repeatedly refused to tell police who his victims were. Under lengthy interrogation as police pleaded with him to name his victims so they could be offered medical and psychological help, all David Bye could say was, "No comment".

As the 44-year-old appeared at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court for sentencing, Det Insp Davies described him as a "devious chameleon" - someone who over many years had changed his appearance, his job and where he lived in order to pursue and abuse young children.

"There are almost certainly many more of David Bye's victims out there", said Det Insp Davies.

"We hope the fact he's now been put behind bars for a long time, may persuade those (unknown) victims and their families to come forward and get the help they need."

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