Ambulance worker jailed for 11 years over vile child sex abuse images
- Credit: Suffolk Constabulary
A first responder and ambulance worker who had sex with a 14-year-old girl and downloaded hundreds of vile images of babies and children being sexually abused has been jailed for eleven and a half years.
Lee Arthurs, who had links to Ipswich and Colchester, bragged about sexually abusing children in online chat rooms and sent out images to back up his claim, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Jamie Sawyer, prosecuting, said Arthurs was arrested in May 2018 at his home in Colchester and told police that, from 2011, he had worked as voluntary first responder.
Arthurs had then worked in an ambulance control room after suffering a head injury in 2017. He also said he had worked for the Royal British Legion poppy appeal.
Arthurs, 34, of London Road, Ipswich, admitted six offences of making indecent photographs of children, attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity, two offences of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, six offences of distributing indecent images of children, meeting a child following sexual grooming and sexual activity with a child.
In addition to being jailed, he was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
The court heard Arthurs suffered a head injury in a crash in September 2017, which he maintained was a cause of his offending.
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However, Judge Martyn Levett said Arthurs had been viewing indecent images of children and distributing them to others before the crash and there was no medical evidence that Arthurs had undergone a personality change.
Judge Levett said: “You knew when you were viewing these images that they perpetuate the abuse of children, the removal of their innocence, the destruction of their childhood and the loss of their ability to lead constructive lives in the future.”
As he was being taken away to start his sentence, Arthurs thanked Judge Levett for his “patience and leniency”.
Mr Sawyer said that when electronic devices belonging to Arthurs were examined by experts, they were found to contain 403 still images and 440 movies in the most serious level A category.
There were 252 still images and 149 movies in category B and 1,184 still images and 144 movies in the least serious level C category.
He said the downloading of indecent images and films had taken place over a period of more than six years between September 2011 and May 2018.
They included images of babies as young as three months being sexually abused.
Mr Sawyer said police found Arthurs had used search terms such as “pre-teen” and “paedo” to look for child abuse images and that in addition to sending out child abuse images to other people he had encouraged them to send them to him.
Mr Sawyer said that in 2019, police discovered that Arthurs had posed as a 16-year-old boy during online exchanges with a 14-year-old girl.
When the girl met up with him and realised how much older he was, she had tried to leave but he had persuaded her to stay before having sex with her in a hotel room.
Arthurs had also been in contact with a 15-year-old girl in America and had encouraged her to send him indecent images of herself to him.