THE head of a police unit established to deal with paedophiles using the internet to prey on children has spoken out following another conviction.
Acting Detective Superintendent and Director of Public Protection Chris Naughton, who leads Dorset Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), warned offenders they would be “brought to justice” after Richard Wilson was jailed this month.
The 50-year-old, of Fitzpaine Close in West Parley, admitted 16 counts of possessing indecent images of children from category A – the most serious – to C at Bournemouth Crown Court.
Police discovered a total of 8,553 photographs and 246 moving images on his computer, and some of the films had been burned to DVD.
Det Supt Naughton said: “We are using technology to combat offenders who use the internet as a weapon to attack and abuse children. POLIT works closely with similar units both in the UK and abroad to identify and bring to justice those criminals who use cyberspace to sexually exploit children. If you commit these crimes we will find you, arrest you and bring you to justice.
“I also urge those abusing children to seek professional help from either their GP or another professional organisation such as Stop it Now! of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.”
Judge Samuel Wiggs heard that “several hundred” DVD discs were seized from Wilson’s home when he was arrested by police, and the defendant immediately made “full and frank” admissions to officers. Mitigating, Kevin Hill said that Wilson had “an addiction to pornography, to indecent images”.
The defendant – who neighbours said works for an insurance company in Poole – was sentenced to eight months in prison.
Dorset Police joined up with the National Crime Agency and the Association of Chief Police Officers for a national six-month operation that led to Wilson’s arrest.
More than 660 suspected paedophiles have now been arrested across Britain, with eight in Dorset, including retired teacher Ian Bell, 66, who was charged with 20 offences of making and distributing indecent images of children.
Bell was sentenced to 28 months in prison.