March 2005

Pervert caught with indecent images of kids

A company manager from Longridge who downloaded indecent images of children while working alone has avoided a jail term.

Preston Crown Court heard that colleagues complained to police when the illicit material was discovered on a computer following a system crash.

Andrew Walmsley, who was involved in the cub scout movement, lost his job and later admitted the offences to police.

The 41-year-old, who lived at Lindale Road, Longridge, admitted four charges of indecent assault, three of sexual activity with a child, and nine of making indecent photographs of a child.

Judge Anthony Russell QC made a three-year community rehabilitation order. The judge also imposed a five-year sexual offences prevention order which included an order not to have or use computer equipment, not to have photographic equipment, and not to be a member of a youth organisation or work with children.

In addition an order was made for Walmsley to sign the sex offenders register.

Walmsley was employed as a production and engineering manager for Commercial Freeze Drying Ltd, Grimsargh, and the organisation complained to police last year when the indecent computer images were found.

The finger of suspicion pointed to Walmsley as some sites had been accessed in the middle of the night when he had been on duty, said Miss Judith McCullough, prosecuting.

A warrant was executed at his address in Lindale Road and his computer system seized.

When interviewed, he spoke of having had a computer problem that would not let him shut down the equipment. At that stage he denied any knowledge of obscene images.

But the defendant subsequently volunteered himself for further interviewing. He admitted having touched a girl under 16 and said he wanted help.

At the time he had committed the offences he had not been thinking clearly, he said. He spoke of being a scout master for the cub movement.