October 2015

Boys’ Brigade & Ex-police worker avoids jail over 8,000 child abuse images


A BOYS’ BRIGADE volunteer who spent a decade downloading child abuse images has been spared jail.

Ian Black, 54, of Yare Avenue in Witham, was found guilty of possessing nearly 8,000 indecent images of girls as young as two experiencing the highest level of vile abuse “within minutes” at his two-day trial last month.

Black worked for Essex Police for several years, volunteered with the boys’ brigade in Witham and was actively involved in the community.

But at the same time he would take pictures of children in playgrounds, and download ghastly images of children being abused

Black admitted four counts of making or downloading indecent images of children and a jury found him guilty of another six counts unanimously and within minutes.

Sentencing him at Chelmsford Crown Court today Judge David Turner QC said: “This is a sad and shameful day for you and a humiliating day for your wife of 23 years.”

He described Black’s claims he was investigating the dangers of internet grooming to give a talk to the Witham brigade as “near ridiculous” and “manifest nonsense”.

Among the images, and 85 videos, were 13 at the most serious level.

They were found on a laptop, computer and memory sticks belonging to Black.

The pictures of children in playgrounds locally were not part of the charge but raised concerns.

Black was given a community order for three years with supervision.

He was ordered to take part in an internet sex offender programme, carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,200 costs.

He will be on the sex offenders’ register for five years and is subject to a sexual harm prevention order.

The order bans him from using the internet, deleting internet history, or possessing software capable of containing images.

September 2015

Ex-Essex Police office worker caught with thousands of child abuse images

A FORMER Essex Police office worker found guilty of downloading nearly 8,000 indecent images of girls as young as two claimed he did so for research purposes. 

Ian Black, 54, of Yare Avenue, Witham, claimed he had amassed the hoard over nine years as part of an educational awareness activity for his Boys’ Brigade group.

He also suggested that some of the stash found could have been already on corrupted and second hand external hard drives and memory sticks he bought online – that he believed was new.

But jurors at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday (September 24) took just an hour to find him guilty of six charges.

Black faced 10 charges in total and had admitted four other charges before the two-day trial began on Tuesday, totalling 17,613 images and 85 videos.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Black said: “I started at the Boys’ Brigade around 2007 or 2008. My role involved looking after the kids and making sure they were enjoying themselves.

“I was team leader for a year and a half of the anchor boys, who were between five and eight-years-old.

“I decided to organise a grooming activity to make them aware of what was out there [on the internet]. I wanted to find out how easy it was to look at child porn.

“I literally just googled things like, ‘naked images of children’.

“Certain galleries would come up on the screen but I tended not to click on them. I never downloaded anything intentionally and I never saved any images or downloaded anything.

“Regarding chat sites, I also wanted to learn the type of wording a groomer would use to make the children do something, but I never gleaned anything as there was never any sound.”

At the time of his arrest in 2013 he had worked for two years as a civilian research and development officer in intelligence at Essex Police headquarters in Springfield, Chelmsford. building profiles of known criminals. He was not working in child pornography.

Black, now unemployed, has had jobs in a bank and as a driving instructor. He worked for Essex Police from 2003.

Judge David Turner QC adjourned sentence until 9 October and remanded Black on bail.