August 2023

Former newspaper editor given suspended sentence for viewing child sexual abuse

A former editor of the Independent on Sunday and the New Statesman has been given a suspended sentence after admitting viewing child sexual abuse online, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said on Friday.

Peter Wilby, 78, had more than 100 indecent images of children on his computer, dating between 2013 and 2022, according to the NCA.

Wilby had been accessing the material online from his home in Chelmsford, Essex.

Analysis of his computer found 167 indecent images of children ranging from category C to category A – the most serious category of images.

He said he had been accessing them since the late 1990s and admitted having a sexual interest in children.

Wilby worked as an education correspondent for numerous newspapers. He joined the Independent on Sunday in 1990 and went on to become its editor. From 1998 to 2005 he was the editor of the New Statesman.

He was charged with three counts of making indecent images of children, to which he later pleaded guilty.

At Chelmsford crown court, Wilby was sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years.

He is required to undertake 40 hours of rehabilitation, is subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and was placed on the sex offender register for five years.