Charity founder was a pervert
12:00pm Monday 7th October 2013 in News
THE FOUNDER of a national children's charity wore a wristwatch fitted with a secret camera to film children naked.
David Thomas Clapton, 52, the founder of Harvest Trust, also had a shaver with a camera inside.
Clapton went on to become a foster parent but "only to scheme to exploit young people."
Clapton was jailed for four years and three months after he admitted one offence of sexual assault on a seven year-old boy, five of voyeurism and 14 offences of possessing child pornography.
Swansea crown court heard that Clapton had 11,271 indecent images of children on his computers, including some in the most serious category five.
Harvest Trust arranged holidays in west Wales for challenged children. It banked £648,000 between 2005 and 2009, when it stopped sending accounts to the Charity Commission.
John Hipkin, prosecuting, said in March, 2011, Clapton and his wife were accepted as foster carers by Ceredigion County Council, and they helped several children to have emergency accommodation at their home, Anwylfa, Rhydlewis, near Cardigan.
But within 18 months police executed a search warrant at the address.
They took away "a large amount of computer equipment."
Mr Hipkin said it included a watch that appeared to be normal but it could film and record sound. So could a shaver, although it was not clear whether it had been used.
Clapton had also fitted filming devices to the bathroom.
Police located the footage, some of which showed Clapton sexually abusing a boy under the pretext of drying him after a bath.
They also found that Clapton had been accessing child porn sites on the internet.
After his arrest Clapton tried to pretend he had been researching child abuse in his role as a foster carer--until police confronted him with his wristwatch.
Clapton had also searched the internet for jail sentences for paedophiles.
Mr Hipkin said Clapton's known offending related to his role as a foster carer.
Janet Gedrych, the barrister representing Clapton, said the footage had not been distributed. Police had found it inside a locked safe and although he had received indecent images of children he had sent in return only "naturism" type pictures.
"The charity has nothing to do with his sexual interest in children. The charity is now closed." she added.
Miss Gedrych urged Judge Paul Thomas to consider a community based sentence to allow time for Clapton to be treated for his sexual interests.
Judge Thomas told Clapton, "Thousands of dedicated people take on the heavy and vital responsibility of acting as foster parents.
"They do so out of good citizenship, kindness and generosity."
He said the children they looked after often had tragic backgrounds "who arrive in a strange household with strange people, often bewilidered."
"When you applied to become a foster carer you knew that you had a strong sexual attraction towards children.
"You fooled everyone. You were the founder of a childern's charity. You schemed to exploit young children.
"You betrayed the high level of trust put in you by social services and assisted agencies, and the children themselves, and not least your own family, and your wife.
"In the guise of giving that boy a bath you fondled him."
Such was his interest in children that he bought a spy watch, added Judge Thomas..