Tag: sexual abuse solicitors Hampson Hughes

Child Sexual Abuse in Football | 250 Potential Suspects

Close up image of a football on a football pitch

Officers investigating child sexual abuse within football in the UK have now identified over 250 potential suspects and 560 victims.

Operation Hydrant

The inquiry, Operation Hydrant, is being co-ordinated by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and involves around 311 football clubs, across all leagues.

The latest update involving the inquiry came in January and at the time the number of potential suspects was 184, while the number of victims stood at 526.

According to the inquiry, the victims that have come forward are aged between four and twenty years, at the time of the abuse. Furthermore, 96% of victims are male.

Child sexual abuse in football

Last year a support hotline was set up after a number of ex-footballers – some of which with professional careers – reported they had been sexually abused as children by coaches and scouts involved in the game.

Since the hotline was set up, police forces all across the UK have reported an increased number of calls from people offering information, as well as victims.

However, this child sexual abuse scandal is not just confined to football. The NPCC has stated that 25 referrals to Operation Hydrant involve sports other than football. The inquiry has received complaints from victims of child sexual abuse involved in martial arts, rugby, golf, tennis, sailing, swimming, wrestling and gymnastics.

The Football Association has also launched an independent review into its handling of child sexual abuse allegations in the years prior to 2005. Clive Sheldon QC is leading the independent review.

Sexual abuse & assault compensation claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or by any instance of non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times. For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: BBC News

Vicar Admits Possessing 179 Child Sex Abuse Images

An Essex vicar has recently admitted to being in possession of almost 200 images of child sex abuse.

Child sex abuse images

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Reverend Peter Low downloaded an assortment of images, some of which depicted the most serious category of child sex abuse.

In total, the 65 year old admitted to possessing 179 images depicting child sex abuse. 55 of those images were classed as indecent, nine of which were said to be at the most serious level. A further 124 images of child sex abuse in the Reverend’s possession were classed as ‘prohibited’.

Guilty plea

Low pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images of children. He also pleaded guilty to one count of possessing prohibited images of children.

Low, a clergyman of the United Benefice of Heybridge with Langford in Essex, is due to be sentenced on 2 May 2017. As part of his bail conditions he must have no contact with under 18s, unless supervised.

Response from Diocese of Chelmsford

The Diocese of Chelmsford said it was ‘appalled’, adding that online abuse of children “is not tolerated by the church”.

A spokesman for the Diocese went on to say that Low remained suspended from all his duties as a vicar and will face investigation after sentencing. The spokesman added:

“The diocese is appalled that a clergyman has fallen so far short of the standards expected by the church.

“The diocese strives to uphold the highest standards in safeguarding policy, training, practice and disciplinary action.

“The online abuse of children destroys childhoods and devastates society.

“It is not tolerated by the church.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse and assault claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times.

For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Paediatrician Jailed over Child Sex Abuse Images

A North Devon paediatrician has been jailed for the distribution of films and images containing the most severe child sex abuse.

Police raid in 2015

47 year old Dr Jonathon Walsh was arrested in 2015 after police raided his home. Officers from the child exploitation unit seized his computer and a memory stick during the search. No child sex abuse images were found at the time, however there was significant evidence that he had been accessing child sex abuse material, as well using file wiping software.

Child sex abuse images

Walsh, a respected consultant paediatrician in the children’s and adolescent services department of the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, was sacked from his job after admitting 17 charges relating to child sex abuse images. The charges included nine counts of distributing indecent images of children, as well as six counts of making them.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Walsh told his solicitors he downloaded the content because he was ‘bored’ with his job.

The court also heard how none of the material related to patients at the North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. However, the vast majority of the footage related to ‘Category A’ images – the most serious of its kind – and some videos were several hours long.


Judge Geoffrey Mercer told him:

“Over a period of at least some months, the precise period is unclear, you were involved in downloading and distributing extreme movies and images portraying sexual abuse of children and you went to considerable lengths to try and conceal what it was you were doing. You are 47 years old and a man of good character and I have read a number of references provided by people on your behalf who speak very highly of you.

“You have practised as a paediatrician for a number of years. To state that your sexual interest in children, which outlines these offences, causes real concern in relation to someone in your position is a massive understatement. But it needs to be clearly understood that there was no offending in the context of your work and these offences were non contact offences.

“Your career is now, of course, at an end. To quote from you from one of your letters you have written to me ‘through my actions I have lost my job, my career and my reputation and caused great harm to the ones I love.”

Walsh was sentenced to three years for each of the distributing offences. He was sentenced to a further 12 months for downloading offences. All sentences will run concurrently.

NSPCC response

An NSPCC spokesman said:

“Although it has been acknowledged that none of the images related to patients at the hospital, Walsh was working in a position of significant responsibility and trust when he comitted these crimes. Behind every image of online child abuse is a child who has suffered a horrific ordeal in the real world. It’s clear from Walsh’s extensive library that his only care was his own twisted gratification and it is right that he now faces the consequences of his actions.”

Response from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

George Thomson, medical director for Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, added:

“This case has deeply shaken everybody at NDHT and we know it has been a shock to the community. We have worked closely with the police throughout this case and we know that none of these crimes relate to contact offences, and none of the images relate to patients at North Devon District Hospital.

“At the launch of the police investigation in September 2015 we took immediate action to exclude Dr Walsh from working at the Trust and informed the General Medical Council. Dr Walsh was dismissed with immediate effect when he was charged in June.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse and assault claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times.

For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: devonlive.com

Ex-Dragon in Court over Child Sex Abuse Claims

Ex-Dragon’s Den star, Doug Richard, has been charged with 5 child sex abuse offences. It is alleged he paid a 13 year old girl money to be his ‘sex slave’, after making contact with her through a ‘sugar daddy’ website.

Online Encounter

The Old Bailey heard this week that 57 year old Richard spanked the girl multiple times before having sex with her. Richard, a former business advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, allegedly paid the 13 year old and her 15 year old friend a total of £480 to travel to London and meet him.

Richard is said to have advertised himself as a ‘sugar daddy’ on the online site ‘Seeking Arrangements’. The court heard that police had recovered numerous online exchanges between Richard and the 13 year old that had been deleted. In one conversation, Richard asked if the girl was free and available to come to London to see him after school. The jury heard that when the girl replied to say that she couldn’t and could they rearrange, Richard told her he would only wait to meet her another time if she sent ‘sexy’ photos of herself , ‘wearing less clothing’ and in ‘more revealing positions’. Richard said to the girl:

‘I will make a deal with you. I will wait for the following week if you send me those photos you promised.’

He also told her to send pictures of herself in a ‘submissive pose’ before going on to say:

‘On your hands and knees so I can see you helpless and exposed… [this is the] first task for your new daddy – get it wrong and I will have to spank you’

To which the 13 year old replied:

‘You are my new daddy – I will do anything to make you happy.’

Gino Connor, prosecuting, told the court:

‘The male was an experienced 56-year-old at the time,

‘It should have put him on notice at that point, having seen the photos of her, that she was young – 13 years old.’


Connor went on to say that the girls travelled to London on 2 January 2015 and purchased their train tickets with the £120 that Richard had transferred to a PayPal account for them. Richard then picked the girls up from Liverpool Street station, before taking them to a café where he asked how old they both were. The girls said they were 16 and 17.

Richard then took the girls to an aparthotel were he proceeded to ask them if they would be his ‘slaves’. The Old Bailey was told that the older girl kissed Richard on the lips for about half a minute, however she thought he was ‘horrible and smokey’ and rebuffed his offer to be his slave.

It is alleged that Richard then focused his attentions on the younger girl, who agreed to have sex with the entrepreneur. Mr Connor told the court:

‘The defendant told the girl to remove her items of clothing one by one. She was compliant and undressed completely until naked. He told her to remove his clothing which she did. He spanked her on about seven occasions.’

Jurors heard how Richard instructed the 13 year old to perform a sex act on him whilst her friend looked on. Richard and the girl then moved into an adjoining room where it is claimed they had intercourse. Video footage of a police interview with the fifteen year old was played to the court, in which she claimed she could hear her younger friend ‘whining’ form the other room but could not see what was happening.

According to the 15 year old, she herself entered the other room at one point, where she witnessed her friend perform another sex act on Richard, after which she fled the room in tears. The girl added:

‘She called for me. I went to see her. She was crying. She looked like a mess.’

Following the alleged child sex abuse offences, it is claimed Richard gave the girls money to go shopping and called them a taxi. When the girls arrived home later that day, the older girl’s mother noticed that there had been an unusual deposit in her daughter’s bank account and called the police.


Three days later, Richard was arrested at a central London hotel where he allegedly asked a police officer:
‘Can I ask you a hypothetical question? What if I thought she was over 16 but she was in fact under 16?”
The officer advised him to seek advice from his lawyer, to which Richard responded, ‘Under 16, wow’. Richard gave an answer of ‘no comment’ when questioned by police.

The prosecution added:

‘I suspect there is going to be no dispute as far as the sexual activity is concerned.’

‘When you look at the photographs of this girl, and the defendant had seen the photographs, he had also seen photographs of her naked, you need to ask yourselves whether he is telling the truth when he says he thought she was 16 or over.’

In her police interview, the then fifteen year old told of how her younger friend had begun chatting to a man online and said that they wanted a ‘sugar daddy’, because “a sugar daddy, they can spoil you and take care of you and boys my age just want to have sex.” But on the day that the alleged offences took place she presumed they would just be sightseeing around London.

Child Sex Abuse Charges

US born Richard, who appeared as a ‘dragon’ on the BBC programme Dragon’s Den for the first two seasons, has been charged with three charges of sexual activity with a child and one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He has also been charged with paying for sexual services.

Richard denies all five charges of child sex abuse brought against him but admits to having consensual sexual relations with the thirteen year old as he believed she was sixteen or older.

The trial, which continues, is taking place at the Old Bailey before Judge Mark Lucroft QC and is expected to last 5 days.

Child sex abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing child sex abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your or your child’s situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Mail Online