'Hypocrite' Leeds church minister downloaded sickening images of children and animals being sexually abused

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An Anglican minister caught with hundreds of depraved images of children and animals being sexually abused was branded a 'hypocrite' by a judge.

John Bullamore, 76, accessed the sickening images from his home in Leeds for more than two years before he was arrested.

Leeds Crown Court heard West Yorkshire Police officers went to Bullamore's home on Hornbeam Way, Whinmoor, in June this year after receiving information that illegal images had been accessed from a computer linked to the address.

Alisha Kaye, prosecuting, said officers seized computer equipment and a total of 553 illegal images were discovered.

A total of 175 were at category A - the most serious level of offending.

Images of horses being sexually abused were also discovered.

The images had been accessed using a social media sharing device and Bullamore had used search terms including 'kids', 'toddler' and 'naked'.

Bullamore refused to comment when questioned by police.

He later pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of a child, one of possessing a prohibited image of a child and one of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Austin Welch, mitigating, said Bullamore had been an Anglican minister for many years but had now lost his position.

He said: "He has spent his entire life dedicated to others. He is, despite these offences, a kind and caring man.

"He has been a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather."

Mr Welch said Bullamore still had the support of his family and the church.

The barrister said Bullamore committed the offences at a time when he was suffering from depression and was now receiving therapy to address his offending.

Mr Welch added: "He knows it was a terrible thing to do and he is deeply sorry for what he has done and realises he has let himself and his family down."

"He will never work as a minister again and it will be a stain on him for the rest of his life."

Bullamore was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to take part in a 15-day programme to address his offending.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: "You will, for the rest of your life, have to live with the shame these convictions will bring.

"You were a pillar of the community. You were an Anglican minister. You were trusted by the community. But you are also a paedophile.

"You are a hypocrite. One who contrived to give a false appearance of virtue and goodness.

"Throughout your life you have enjoyed the respect your calling brings.

"Those responsibilities, Mr Bullamore, you have severely breached.

"By your activities you have encouraged the sexual abuse of children."