June 2009

RAF man jailed for child sexual images

An RAF serviceman obsessed with young girls sobbed in the dock as he was handed a two year jail term for child sex offences.

Senior Aircraftman William Craig, who served with the Technical Communications Wing (TWC) at RAF Brize Norton had more than 1,200 images of children on his computer.

Oxford Crown Court was told the 22-year-old also bombarded an 11 year old girl with lewd text messages asking for her to pose in indecent/sexual images and surfed the internet visiting sites showing sick images of children.

Craig, who volunteered to serve in Afghanistan, was jailed after the court was told he had an obsession with young girls.

Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said Craig even continued downloading images of underage children and sent messages to girls via the internet after he was charged with inciting an 11-year-old girl into pornography.

He added: “The defendant repeatedly offended, even while on bail.”

The court heard police seized Craig’s computer in July 2007 from the airbase near Carterton, and found hundreds of images of children.

It also revealed Craig cruised dozens of sites showing photos of underage girls and made teenage girls strip naked during webcam conversations.

Four months later officers took away a replacement computer from the airbase and discovered more images had been downloaded.

When asked by police why he continued he replied “everything in life has risks,” Mr Coombe added.

Craig admitted seven counts of making indecent images and one each for inciting a child into pornography, inciting a child to engage in a sexual activity and possessing an indecent image on his mobile phone in March this year.

In total, police found 1,258 indecent images including 1,231 at level one, 16 at level two, six at level three and five at level four – the second most serious classification.

Craig asked for a further two counts of making and one for possessing 502 sick images of children to be taken into account during his sentencing.

Judge Mary-Jane Mowat said: “This is an addiction, but I’m not sure whether that is the right word. It’s obsessive, certainly. It would appear compulsive behaviour and without doubt a sexual interest in girls demonstrated by contact with an 11 year old girl, but also your repeated downloading of images of children.

“You are a high risk to children.”

Craig was discharged from the RAF last week and has been living with a girlfriend in Nottingham, who the court heard had pledged to stand by him.

He was sentenced to serve two years in jail for each count to run concurrently and ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years.

The court also banned Craig from working with children, owning a computer and using on-line chatrooms.