December 2017

Former football coach who downloaded child abuse images given suspended sentence

A FORMER children’s football coach who downloaded child abuse images and watched them as a form of “escapism” has been given a suspended sentence.

David Broadhurst, 62, of Netherfields, Leigh – who used to coach a children’s football team – admitted to using chat rooms and described his behaviour as “bravado”.

But he maintained he had never searched for such images and they had been sent to him anonymously and he downloaded them and deleted them after viewing them, said Chris Taylor, prosecuting.

After police raided his home, then in Manor Road, Rainhill, they seized various computers and related items and had them forensically examined. This disclosed a total of 624 indecent images, including 114 videos.

“These included sadistic sexual abuse of a baby and girls aged from three to nine years old,” said Mr Taylor

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Broadhurst, who works part time as a DJ, had been identified as an offender following his Skype conversations with another man about the sexual abuse of children.

Devon and Cornwall Police notified Merseyside Police and they went to his home at breakfast time on April 20 this year and found both he and his wife present. When later interviewed he described it as “escapism linked to his depression.”

Broadhurst, who has since separated from his wife and now lives in Leigh, pleaded guilty to seven offences involved making indecent photographs, possessing them making indecent pseudo photographs and possessing prohibited images.

Sentencing him to eight months imprisonment suspended for two years Judge Anil Murray said, “Since your arrest you have taken steps to address your warped desires.”

He pointed out that Broadhurst had worked as a coach for a workforce children’s team and while there was no suggestion he had visited the children, “these offences will mean all the parents of the children you have encountered will now be wondering.”

He ordered him to attend an accredited sex offenders’ treatment programme and to carry out 30 days rehabilitation activities.

Judge Murray also ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same length of time banning him from contact with under 16-year-olds.