January 2009

Ambulance controller sentenced for child abuse images

AN ambulance controller is behind bars after being caught with more than 8,000 indecent photographs of young children on his laptops at work and at home.

Jason Hodson, of Whyteleafe Hill, Whyteleafe, was a respected and trusted emergency call operator at the South East Coast Ambulance Service’s Surrey HQ.

But the father-of-one was secretly collecting an evil hoard of more than 8,000 depraved images, which included young girls and babies being raped by men and animals and even a schoolgirl chained up with the words “hurt me” written on her stomach.

A lengthy police investigation proved that 25-year-old Hodson swapped the pictures, some of which were rated as the most degrading possible, with other perverts online.

Hodson had already been convicted in October of downloading or distributing 44 child pornography images, and was found guilty of the additional charges earlier this month, since when he had been awaiting sentence.

Sitting at Kingston Crown Court today (Wednesday) , Judge Martin Binning told him: “It is obvious that in the production of images such as these, young girls are exploited, humiliated and abused for the gratification of people such as yourself.

“I have read a moving letter from your mother which shows a different side of you and it is a tragedy that you have become involved with child pornography.

“With your level of possession, accompanied as it is with distribution and the classes involved, it seems a prison sentence is inevitable.”

Hodson was also ordered to sign onto the Sex Offenders’ register indefinitely.

During a six-day trial at Kingston Crown Court last year, Hodson denied 20 counts of distributing child pornography and 24 counts of possessing the indecent material.

He refused to rule out colleagues as being responsible for the images because he claimed they hadaccess to his work laptop and even said his mother could have downloaded the pictures.

The jury heard how Hodson used the email address JuicyLucy@yahoo.com to chat with other perverts and exchange images.

After raiding his Surrey home, police discovered thousands of images on his work laptop, two home computers belonging to his mother, a mobile phone, and even his ex-girlfriend’s machine.

Detective Constable Louise Dunning, officer in charge of the investigation, was the first witness to be called at the trial.

She told the court: “In a Google group, a comment was posted saying ‘I’m in the UK, I have got two girls to share.’

“Someone using the Juicy Lucy email replied: ‘I’m in the UK, south of London, let me see a picture, email me’.”

Det. Con. Dunning also told jurors how police forensic computer technology had revealed how a computer seized from Hodson’s mother’s home had been used to ask the question “where can I find pictures of child sex?” in 2000, when the defendant would have been aged just 16 years.

Defending Hodson, George Zachary told Judge Binning it was “no coincidence” the offending began in 2000 when the defendant claimed he was sexually abused but no further details of the allegations were given.

He said: “After that incident raised in evidence by the defendant himself of him being a victim, Your Honour may feel that, not taking away anything from the seriousness of the charges, may explain how a young man has become lost in what may be considered to be an illegal and unhealthy addiction or maybe an illness.”

Hodson showed no emotion as the sentence was passed but was told he would only spend half of it in prison.

The defendant appeared to have undertaken an image makeover since his trial, dying his hair black from its natural blonde colour and swapping a suit for a long felt jacket.

Family members wept in the public gallery as the paedophile was led away.