January 2019

Former Sussex Police officer who downloaded ‘vile’ images is punished with unpaid work

A disgraced former councillor caught with ‘vile’ indecent images of children has been spared jail.

Daniel Barnes – who was a serving Bognor town councillor when police found the pictures – was sentenced today.

The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to six offences earlier in December, including possession of 185 indecent images.

Barnes, of Storrington Road in Thakeham, downloaded the images while a serving police officer, a court heard.

When he appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court in December, Barnes pleaded guilty to the following charges:

– Make indecent photograph of a child: one category A image (the most serious category)

– Make indecent photograph of a child: four category B images

– Make indecent photograph of a child: 180 category C images

– Possess a prohibited image of a child: 23 images

– Distribute an indecent image of a child: three category C images

– Possess an extreme pornographic image involving an animal: five images, according to the lists

At that hearing district judge Amanda Kelly said that even though he had viewed images of children, the offences were still very serious.

She said: “Real children have been subjected to the most awful, vile abuse.”

The case was sent to Portsmouth Crown Court for sentencing where judges have greater powers.

However judge Roger Herthington today declined the option to jail the ex-police officer.

Barnes, who has now moved to the Cambridgeshire area, was given a 12-month community order, the court confirmed.

He was also ordered to carry out unpaid work and attend rehabilitation days.

Barnes was told to sign the sex offenders register for a period of five years.

December 2018

Former Sussex Police officer admits indecent images of children offences

A former Sussex Police officer has pleaded guilty to offences concerning 185 indecent images of children.

Daniel Barnes – a former town councillor – appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court today charged with six offences.

Barnes, 40, of Storrington Road in Thakeham, resigned from Bognor Regis Town Council for ‘personal reasons’ in January 2018.

It can now be revealed that his resignation came less than three months after an address in Bognor was raided and he was arrested of suspicion of making indecent images of children.

District judge Amanda Kelly told Barnes that even though he had viewed images of children, the offences were still very serious.

She said: “Real children have been subjected to the most awful, vile abuse.”

Appearing in court today, Barnes pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • – Make indecent photograph of a child: one category A image

  • – Make indecent photograph of a child: four category B images

  • – Make indecent photograph of a child: 180 category C images

  • – Possess a prohibited image of a child: 23 images

  • – Distribute an indecent image of a child: three category C images

  • – Possess an extreme pornographic image involving an animal: five images, according to the lists

The case was adjourned so that a pre-sentence report could be drafted.

District judge Kelly added: “They are offences to which the requirements of the sex offenders register apply.

“Failing to comply with these requirements is a really serious offence.”

Barnes is due to be sentenced on New Year’s Eve.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Barnes is an ex-Sussex PC but the alleged offending is unconnected with that employment.

“He resigned from the force in 2016 of his own accord, not due to this investigation over which he was arrested in 2017.

“The images are all understood to have come from the internet and there is nothing to suggest that there is any risk to local children.”