A devout Christian has forgiven a paedophile teacher who preyed on his daughter – and claims that intervention by social services has caused more damage than the abuse.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke out after vile David Pugh, 56, was jailed for 16 months for grooming his 14-year-old daughter online.
Pugh contacted the girl through social networking site Tagged before persuading her to perform sex acts while being filmed on a webcam.
Incredibly, her father, who is a devout Christian from St Neots, Cambs., says he has forgiven Pugh and is praying for him.
He said: ”Like any father I wanted to kill the guy on the first day but I am a practicing and devout Christian and I honestly feel sorry for him.
”He needs medical help and care. Putting him in prison means his life will be hell.”
But he says his daughter now suffers panic attacks before meeting with social services and claims the sessions have left her with worse problems than the abuse.
He said: ”It’s a travesty of justice. They have affected my daughter more than a paedophile, they have scarred her mentally.”
Pugh, a part-time music and drama teacher and financial controller at a computer firm based in Knaphill, Woking, Surrey, met the girl on social networking site Tagged.
During one month of sexual grooming the grandfather, posing as 47 year-old ‘Peter’, sent her poems and contacted her on her mobile phone.
He then arranged to meet her in a park on February 5, 2010, but the girl’s father spotted the conversations on his daughters laptop and contacted police.
Pugh pleaded guilty to four counts of engaging a child into sexual activity and one count of attempting to meet with a child.
He was jailed for 16 months at Huntingdon Crown Court, Cambs., and made subject of a sexual offences prevention order for 10 years.
The girl’s father has told how social services have now placed a child protection order on his daughter amid claims he has failed to ‘engage’ with social workers.
He believes the order should be removed and claims she is a member of a ‘loving’ and ‘caring’ family.
A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman said: ”The work of social services is always done in the interests of the child and young person.
”In the interests of this particular young person, it would be inappropriate to go into the detail of the case.”