Dereham businessman sentenced for indecent child images

Police searched the home of a Norfolk businessman after he was accused of filming a young child changing at a swimming pool, a court has heard.

In doing so, officers uncovered more than 500 indecent images of children on a computer and disks belonging to self-employed management consultant Ernest Bradshaw.

The 65-year-old was sentenced at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court on Wednesday after previously admitting 16 counts of making an indecent image of a child and one charge of possessing an indecent image of a child.

Bradshaw was handed a 12-month community order and must complete 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also placed on the sex offenders' register and made subject to an indefinite sexual offences prevention order banning him from contact with children.

Philip Charnley, prosecuting, said a member of the public at Dereham Leisure Centre had raised the alarm in September last year believing someone had tried to film a child in the changing rooms.

Staff remembered Bradshaw leaving in 'a hasty manner' despite having paid to swim just 10 minutes earlier, the court heard.

The police were called when he returned to the centre in December and was seen watching a family fun session. Officers discovered a camcorder in his rucksack, although nothing untoward was found on it.

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Police searching Bradshaw's home in The Drift, at Gressenhall near Dereham, found 547 indecent images of children, all rated at level one. In a sliding scale of one to five, level one images are the least serious.

Mr Charnley said Bradshaw had eventually admitted the charges to protect his family and friends from questioning, but he told the court: 'He can't or won't see his behaviour was inappropriate and he can't or won't feel any empathy for the victims of child pornography.'

Ryan Creek, mitigating, said Bradshaw, a father-of-three, was an amateur artist and had downloaded the images for 'inspiration'.

He had not been formally identified following the changing rooms allegation and had not been prosecuted over the incident, Mr Creek told the court.