March 2016

Theology professor escapes prison sentence 

A THEOLOGY professor avoided a prison sentence after indecent images of children were found stored on his domestic computer equipment.

But the discovery of the 165 images in a police raid at the home of Professor Charles Thomas Robert Hayward, led to the loss of the esteemed academic’s good character.

The 68-year-old bachelor was arrested after police visited his home in Neville’s Cross, Durham, last January.

Durham Crown Court was told three computers and 11 memory sticks contained 165 indecent images of male youngsters.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said three were in the most serious category, while 45 other film clips, were of eight hours and 25 minutes’ duration.

All had been downloaded and stored by the defendant after October, 2010.

Mr Baker said the boys featured were considered to be aged 12 – 17.

Hayward admitted being sole user of the computers but expressed surprise they may feature children.

Hayward admitted possessing indecent photographs of a child, having previously denied making the images.

Recorder Ian Atherton said a community supervision sentence would serve more purpose than a short period of custody in a case of someone of, “hitherto good character.”

He passed a two-year community supervision order, while he also made Hayward subject to a sexual harm prevention order and registration as a sex offender, both for five years.

Recorder Atherton ordered forfeiture and destruction of the seized computer equipment.