January 2019

Paedophile Scout leader caught with sick photos walks free from court

A paedophile Scout leader caught with hundreds of sickening pictures of children today walked free from court.

Christopher John Oldland, 54, who volunteered at the 8th Formby Scout Group, downloaded nearly 600 child sex abuse images.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the married dad-of-one’s twisted collection included photos of victims aged just three being molested.

Oldland is also the manager and company secretary of Seaforth Information Network Group (SING), which runs the SING Plus Centre.

The Cambridge Road facility’s services include an Ofsted registered nursery, holiday play scheme, youth activities and a disability group.

Oldland, formerly of Greenloons Drive, Formby, now of Stanley Road, Bootle, suggested he downloaded the pictures as a result of internet “pop-ups”.

But that assertion was rubbished by prosecutors, who said while there was no evidence of search terms, forensic analysis indicated he sought out the images.

After hearing evidence which showed they came from an external device or were sent to him, Judge Alan Conrad, QC, said this issue could affect sentencing.

Iain Criddle, prosecuting, said police acting on intelligence went to the SING Plus Centre, where they arrested Oldland and seized his two mobile phones, on July 10 last year.

They contained indecent images and officers then searched his family’s home in Formby, where they retrieved a tower computer and a USB device revealing more vile pictures.

Oldland, described in court as a “Scoutmaster” at the troop, which is based at St Luke’s Church in St Luke’s Church Road, admitted possessing 570 indecent images.

He admitted downloading 104 Category A – the most serious category showing the rape of young girls

Mr Criddle said: “Some of the children are as young as three, which is a significant aggravating feature.”

Judge Conrad said he had read a summary of the pictures and stated: “It’s deeply distressing to read of the suffering and degradation to which the children, very young children, three or four years of age in some cases, were subjected to by adults and then photographed, purely because there is a market for such troubling images. That is why this is such a serious matter.

“People will be deeply concerned at you, a man who has worked with children, being involved in such offending.

“It should be pointed out there has been no suggestion in this case of contact offences by you but it is also right you should not work with children again.”

The judge said Oldland accepted he had a problem and it was more constructive that his 42-week sentence be suspended for two years so he could get help.

He handed him a 60-day rehabilitation activity requirement and told him to comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and sign on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.