Church worker convicted for child porn

2011-10-28 22:47

London - A former Catholic child safety coordinator was sentenced to 12 months in prison on Friday for possessing and sharing child pornography, a case that has prompted the church to review child safety arrangements in southwestern England.

Christopher Jarvis, 49, had been employed by the Catholic Church in 2002 to review historic claims of clerical child abuse in the area. He also was a member of the Devon and Cornwall Multi-agency Safeguarding Team.

Police said they found more than 4 000 pornographic images, mainly of boys aged 10 to 12, on his home computer.

The bishop of Plymouth, the Right Rev Christopher Budd, has commissioned the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to review child protection arrangements in the counties of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, the diocese said. That review is continuing.

Budd also wrote to one abuse victim saying that Jarvis "has betrayed your trust and that of many others with whom he has worked, both victims of previous abuse and indeed colleagues."

Judge Paul Darlow on Friday rejected defence pleas that Jarvis could benefit more from psychiatric help than going to prison.

"You, of all people, were more aware than others of the massive theft of innocence and long-term damage exacted on the children whose images you downloaded for your own sexual gratification," the judge said.

Jarvis told the court that he had been abused as a child.

David Pond, the independent chair of the diocesan Child Safeguarding Commission, said the NSPCC had carried out an independent review of child protection and cases handled by Jarvis on behalf of the church and found no evidence of impropriety.



- AP

Read more on:    uk  |  pornography  |  child abuse
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