NHS boss jailed over child porn offences

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AN NHS computer manager who had more than 4,000 vile sex movies and pictures of children has been jailed.

Neil Dench, 50, was given a 16-month sentence yesterday after being told that the case was so serious only an immediate custodial term could be imposed.

Leeds Crown Court heard some of the images featured babies as young as four months old being horrifically abused.

Police also discovered a pair of children’s knickers and a book entitled Child Pornography; The Investigation when they raided his home on Newland Street, Agbrigg, Wakefield.

Matthew Gent, prosecuting, said officers executed a search warrant at Dench’s home in May last year after receiving information that he had been accessing an illegal file sharing network over a 12-month period.

Computer equipment was seized from his home and was found to contain a total of 3,810 illegal images and 522 movies.

A total of 175 movies were at levels four and five - the two most serious categories of offending.

Dench was arrested but refused to comment when interviewed on three separate occasions. He pleaded guilty to 21 offences of making indecent images of children. Mr Gent said the offences were aggravated by the very young age of the victims involved, the number of images in his possession and because he had accessed a file sharing network.

The court heard Dench has one previous conviction for indecent exposure in 1988.

Matthew Donkin, mitigating, said Dench was ashamed of his offending and had the book in his home in a bid to understand his offending. Mr Donkin said the discovery of children’s underwear in the property was of “deep concern” but his client had never approached youngsters before.

The barrister said: “His offending has not gone beyond what he has done in his own home.

“He has lived alone for many years and has an isolated existence. Seemingly, he has been a responsible and respectable employee in the civil service until these offences.” Jailing Dench, Recorder Richard Wright, QC, said: “These are not just images. These are real children whose lives are blighted by this sort of disgusting abuse that is then sold on the internet for the pleasure of people like you.”

He added: “Yours was a large collection and it is a particularly worrying and aggravating feature of your case that you also went out and bought yourself a pair of children’s knickers.”