DCSIMG

Member of police advisory group admits child porn offences

L11-1244   27/9/11
Luton Crown Court exterior.
wk 39 GC JX PNL-140331-120520001

L11-1244 27/9/11 Luton Crown Court exterior. wk 39 GC JX PNL-140331-120520001

A member of a police advisory body said he sought out indecent pictures of children because he wanted to do some research.

But Trevor Hartwell later pleaded guilty to twelve charges of possessing and making indecent photos.

His solicitor, Paul Orton said the offending did begin as research, and that Mr Hartwell was not interested in children.

“But he has pleaded guilty and admits this was a one off error of judgement,” he said.

Hartwell, 71, of Holme Crescent, Biggleswade, was a member of the Central Bedfordshire Independent Advisory group, made up of civilians who give advice to police.

At Luton Crown Court on Friday he was given a three year community order and must attend 35 two hour sessions of an internet sex offenders programme. He must also sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years and abide by a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for the same time, restricting his contact with children.

Judge Philip Bartle QC told him: “It is tragic to see someone of your age with no previous convictions before a Crown Court.

“You have obviously led a blameless life hitherto and people speak of you with great warmth and look up to you.

“Nothing would be gained by sending you to prison.”

Prosecutor Daniel Fugallo said: “As a member of the advisory group Mr Hartwell came into contact with senior police officers. In May last year he told one he had viewed indecent images as research.

“An officer attended his home and seized his computer, and he agreed to be interviewed.

“He said he had accessed web sites using search terms involving young girls. For research purposes he wanted to see how esy it was, and discovered it was very easy.

“He said he went back to the sites again to see if they were still available.”

The barrister said Mr Hartwell raised the matter with police after receiving a message on his computer purporting to come from Bedfordshire Police saying he had been viewing images and needed to pay a fine to the site. It was a scam, but it frightened him.

Mr Fugallo said 37 images were found, with two of them at the most serious level.

 

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