July 2009

Paedophile, 54, pretended to be 15-year-girl called Charlotte

A PAEDOPHILE who distributed indecent images from his work computer has been spared jail so as not to punish his wife and teenage son.

Richard Head, of Trinity Close, Bere Alston, admitted eight counts of making, four counts of distributing and one count of possessing indecent images of children, between December 2004 and October 2007.

Police investigating his activities found that Head, aged 54, had been using Internet chat rooms while pretending to be a 15-year-old girl called Charlotte.

The court heard that nearly 1,000 images had been found on computer hardware belonging to Head after work colleagues raised the alarm.

The images were in categories one to four, five being the most serious.

Workers at the company, which was not named, had found hard copy images in a desk draw that was being cleared, the court heard.

Yesterday at Plymouth Crown Court, Head was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, along with a supervision order and a requirement to attend sexual offending programmes.

Passing sentence, Judge Francis Gilbert QC said: “To send you immediately to prison, which you undoubtedly deserve, will involve great hardship to your wife and child. It isn’t right that they should suffer any hardship.”

Head has already been placed on the sex offenders register, and was yesterday made subject to conditions which meant he should not be alone with children other than his own.

But Judge Gilbert ordered that a clause that required Head to tell the parents or guardians of children he was near about his conviction be removed, as it would “not allow him to get on with his life.”

The court heard that Head had been involved with a parent teacher organisation, but he is now banned from working with children even in a voluntary capacity.