July 2017

Perverted ex-vicar guilty of more sex offences

A paedophile ex-vicar caught downloading indecent images had a shoebox full of children’s clothing stashed in his home.

Former Church of England reverend Paul Battersby was jailed for eight months in 2010 after police discovered his collection of 160 obscene photographs.

He was already serving a suspended sentence after his family found sick files including a horrifying movie of a girl being bound and raped by her dad.

Liverpool Crown Court today heard the 68-year-old downloaded a further 1,730 indecent images between November 17, 2014 and January 24, 2017.

Chris Taylor, prosecuting, said he had requested a police report after learning officers also found a shoebox containing children’s clothes in his flat.

Battersby, of Old Hall Street, Liverpool city centre, who served in the ministry for 31 years, admitted possessing the child sex abuse pictures.

He admitted downloading 121 Category A – the most serious category – plus 132 Category B and 1,474 Category C photographs.

The former Church of England national youth officer also admitted possessing 183 prohibited images of children, plus extreme animal porn.

Peter Turner, defending, requested a pre-sentence report and a psychiatric report for his client.

Judge David Aubrey, QC, adjourned sentencing until August 25 and remanded Battersby on bail.

The paedophile is subject to a notification order requiring him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register until 2020.

Battersby was first caught with indecent images while working as a vicar in April 2007.

He was turned in by his wife after his 17-year-old stepson spotted pornographic images and videos on the family computer.

Battersby, who was then vicar of St Ambrose Church in Leyland, was spared prison at Preston Crown Court in March 2008.

He was handed a 34-week suspended sentence, 200 hours of unpaid work and told to attend a sex offenders’ programme.

Battersby, who taught chemistry in Liverpool before training for the church, then moved into his sister’s home in Bebington, Wirral.

But in April that year Battersby bought a laptop and within months was using it to access obscene images.

He was caught after police became suspicious when they discovered he was using the name ‘Tanker’ on the internet, breaking the terms of the Sex Offenders Register.

They raided the home in College Drive in February 2009 and discovered the photographs, which he admitted downloading.

Jailing him in 2010, Judge Aubrey said: “Being a highly intelligent and highly articulate man you should well recognise that each image that you have observed for your own sexual gratification represents the abuse of a child.

February 2010

Former senior Wirral vicar jailed for downloading child sex abuse images

A FORMER senior vicar from Wirral has been jailed for 12 months for downloading obscene child porn images.

Ex-Church of England Rev Paul Battersby was already subjected to a suspended prison sentence imposed two years ago after he was caught with indecent images while working as a priest in Lancashire.

But Battersby, who was in the ministry for 31 years, was locked up after being caught for a second time when he broke the rules of his previous court order by using a nickname on the internet to organise a missionary conference.

When officers seized this laptop they discovered nearly 160 sickening photographs of children being abused.

Judge David Aubrey QC jailed 60-year-old Battersby for eight months for the new offences and activated four months of his previous sentence to run consecutively.

Ordering him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years, the judge said: “Being a highly intelligent and highly articulate man you should well recognise that each image that you have observed for your own sexual gratification represents the abuse of a child.

“By doing that which you did you have perpetuated such abuse of such ayoung child.”

Bearded Battersby closed his eyes and sighed as he was sentenced.

In April 2007, the former Church of England National Youth Officer was turned in by his wife after his 17-year-old stepson spotted pornographic images on his computer.

Battersby, who was then vicar of St Ambrose church in Leyland, received 34 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and attend a sex offenders’ programme.

Battersby was formerly the vicar of St Mark’s Church, Witton, Blackburn, and a rector at St Peter’s Church, Darwen.

Following his conviction, Battersby, who taught chemistry in Liverpool before training for the Church in 1971, moved to College Drive, Bebington.

But in April, Battersby bought a laptop and within months was using it to again access obscene images of youngsters.

Imposing a seven-year Sexual Offenders Prevention Order Judge Aubrey said temptation had proved too great for Battersby.

“You have given your life to God and for 31 years of your life you have been in the ministry and seeking to assist those in need.

“Of course I give due weight to all those facts, and those concerning your background and character.

“But I regret to say that there is another side to you, one which you know, and that side is an unhealthy interest in post-pubescent children.”

David Evans, prosecuting, told how Battersby was caught after police became suspicious when they discovered he was using the name “Tanker” to carry out work on the internet – breaching the terms of the Sex Offenders’ Register.

They raided his home on February 5, last year, seized the machine and discovered the photographs.

Batterby pleaded guilty to nine offences of making indecent images.

Peter Turner, defending, told how Battersby had only acquired the laptop after being commissioned by a member of the clergy to organise and manage a conference in relation to missionary work.

He said Battersby accepted having a “significant lapse” in June 2008, but said he had since made progress through the sex offenders programme.

“He is a man who prior to 2007 had led what appeared to be a generally blameless and very useful life as a pastor and a teacher.

“But it is certainly right to say he has had this interest for about five years maximum.”

He said that Battersby, who has health problems, had previously worked as a youth officer in the Lakes, a school chaplain in Argentina and was the National Youth Officer for seven years.

Before starting work in Lelyand in 2003, Battersby was in charge of the church’s community projects in Lancashire as principal officer in the Blackburn Diocese Board of Social Responsibility, from 1994 to 1999.

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