A perverted children’s supervisor who enjoyed spanking young boys in his care has been jailed for four years.
Cruise ship worker Paul Trotter, 34, made films of himself spanking the boys on either their bare bottoms or over their clothes.
He would then use the films for his “sexual gratification”, watching them alone in his cabin on board luxury ships operated by Cunard, Swindon Crown Court heard.
Trotter previously admitted a string of sexual assaults on 13 boys, aged between seven and 13, and the taking, making and possession of indecent images of children.
The offences were committed while Trotter worked on board the Queen Victoria, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary 2 vessels, the court heard.
Trotter also had in his possession other indecent images of children downloaded from the internet.
The images ranged in seriousness from level one to the most serious level five.
Police found a total of more than 900 images on his computer and a media card.
Judge Douglas Field sentenced Trotter, from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, to four years in prison. He was also made subject to an extended period of four years on licence once he was released from prison.
Trotter, who was arrested while living in Salisbury, Wiltshire, appeared at court dressed in a suit and purple tie and stared at the floor as the sentence was passed.
Judge Field said he believed Trotter posed a significant risk to members of the public.
“Your problem is that for many years you have developed an obsession with the spanking of young children, particularly boys,” the judge said.
“You filmed them for your sexual gratification.
“I have decided that as a result of the extent and nature of your offending that you are dangerous.
“You have a deep seeded obsession and there is a significant risk of members of the public coming to harm.”
Turning to the effect on the children’s families, the judge added: “They went on an expensive cruise with their family to enjoy themselves.
“They had every expectation that their children would be looked after. You have grossly breached that trust. It is most concerning to learn that you were employed with children up to now on these prestige cruise ships.”
Trotter was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from working with children.
Last month Trotter pleaded guilty to 12 counts of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13, one count of sexual activity with a child under the age of 13, five counts of taking indecent images of a child, five of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child.
The offences were committed between November 2007 and August 2011, when he was arrested by Wiltshire Police’s child abuse investigation unit.
Trotter started working with children when he was 22 as an au pair in New Zealand, Spain and Germany.
It was during this time his obsession with spanking began, the court heard.
Trotter went on to be employed by Cunard and worked for the company for seven years in the “play zones” on their most prestigious ships.
Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told the court some of the children in Trotter’s films could be seen to be “physically and audibly upset”.
In the case of one boy, Trotter placed his legs over the top of the boy’s legs to stop him moving and held the boy’s arms behind his back, she added.
Michel Forward, defending, said: “This is a case of a gross breach of trust, involving children as young as seven.
“Their parents trusted the defendant to care for their children.”
But he said his client’s behaviour was “not at the worst end of the spectrum of offending”.