June 2016

Pervert pleaded guilty to possessing extreme images and movies involving children as young as five

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HE was the retired senior army officer who’s work for the community and charity gained him a top award.

But shamed Charles Hellard, a former lieutenant-colonel in the Army Catering Corps, led a double life of public charity work and the sordid solitary private life of watching child sexual abuse

And now he has avoided jail after admitting possessing extreme pornography involving the sexual abuse of children as young as five.

In 2014 he received a Mayor of Winchester Community Award for his work with the Winchester charity, Live at Home Scheme. 

Edward Phillips, prosecuting at Winchester Crown Court, said the offending came to light after police traced who has been accessing certain websites.

Mr Phillips said Hellard was technologically aware and had given his laptop to his adult daughter knowing that encryption would prevent her stumbling on the images.

Hellard, of Gar Street, Winchester and of previous good character, admitted three counts of possessing extreme pornography and two of indecent images.

In total there were more than 180 images, photos and videos.

Some pictures involved bestiality and people being seriously injured, the court was told.

Two other charges were dropped and will lie on the file.

Mr Phillips said Hellard told police he was motivated by “curiosity” and had not shared the images with anyone.

Mitigating, Andy Houston, said a report of a personal matter helped explain why Hellard was before the court, the details of which were not publicly disclosed with the agreement of Judge Keith Cutler.

Mr Houston added: “He is deeply ashamed and embarrassed about where he is now.”

Sentencing, Judge Cutler, the Recorder of Winchester, told Hellard: “This is the end of your public shame and humiliation. I hope it is the beginning of you leading a new and better life.”

The judge said he had read tributes to Hellard: “I want you to thank those people who have written in to me because I have read what they said.

“It is important for judges to take these matters into account.

“I can see how you went off the rails, leading one life publicly and another one in private.”

He sentenced Hellard to a 24-month community order with the requirement to complete an internet sex offender treatment programme, along with a 60-day rehabilitation requirement.

Hellard must also be on the Sex Offenders Register for five years and under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same period.

Since retiring from the Army, Hellard has been involved in charity work including as a volunteer driver for the Live at Home Scheme and accountant for nine years for the Gurkha Museum at Peninsula Barracks in Winchester, near his home.

He was a director of the Peninsula Barracks Management Company and the Lower Peninsula Barracks Management Company, posts he resigned after his arrest last year.

In March 2014 he received a Mayor of Winchester Community Award for his work with the Live at Home Scheme that helps elderly people stay independent.

Hellard has also been involved with the Worthy Winchester Hash House Harriers running club.