May 2017

Cambridge University professor who shared ‘extremely graphic’ child rape fantasies online

A Cambridge University poetry professor who had more than 2,000 child abuse images – including one of a baby – has walked free from court.

Professor Simon Jarvis, 53, of Cambridge was found with the vile images on various computers and in online accounts when his city home and college room were raided by the National Crime Agency in September, but a judge said he posed a ‘low risk’ to children even though he shared ‘extremely graphic’ child rape fantasies online with other paedophiles

Of the almost 2,000 indecent images found, 45 were in the most serious Category A. 

Yahoo chat logs containing ‘extremely graphic’ child abuse fantasies and software allowing access to the Dark Web were also found on some of the four computers seized, the court heard.

Other images shows ‘pubescent and pre-pubescent’ girls as young as 10 being sexually abused, and one of a baby.

He also posed pictures at the lower category C on a page on the Tumblr microblogging website under a pseudonym, the court heard. 

Dressed in a smart grey suit the Gorley Putt Professor of Poetry broke down in tears as he heard his crimes being recounted at Cambridge Crown Court.

Jarvis pleaded guilty to four charges of making and two of distributing indecent images of children, five charges of possessing prohibited images and one of possessing extreme pornography, at Friday’s hearing.

Sentencing him, Judge David Farrell QC said: ‘You are an intelligent man, a professor of English literature at the University of Cambridge.

‘As such, in my judgment, you must have know that by accessing and viewing indecent images of children you were indirectly encouraging the abuse of children.

‘You were looking at these images for your own perverted sexual gratification.’

Jarvis’ 12-month sentence was suspended for two years, with a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and £670 in prosecution costs.

But, the judge added, Jarvis had been open with police about ‘what has been described as having an addiction to porn that progressed and included indecent images of children’.

He said Jarvis posed a ‘low to moderate risk’ to children and had taken steps since his arrest to get help, and would receive better treatment and rehabilitation if he was not immediately jailed.

After his arrest he told investigators he had sexual fantasies about young girls, sometimes as young as four.

Prosecutor Mark Weekes said during police interview, Jarvis admitted to police that his interest in children began after seeing a naked nine-year-old girl on a beach.

He then admitted he ‘had slipped and had looked at nude images of children’, while shopping online.

Mr Weekes said computer analysts also found Jarvis had exchanged more than 5,000 lines of ‘exceptionally graphic’ messages about role-play sex with children to another paedophile.