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Former social worker jailed

PUBLISHED: 09:49 14 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 March 2010

A FORMER Suffolk social worker has been jailed for six months after he was caught with hundreds of "very unpleasant" pictures of young boys on his computer.

A FORMER Suffolk social worker has been jailed for six months after he was caught with hundreds of "very unpleasant" pictures of young boys on his computer.

Jonathan Button, 47, of Hotson Road, Southwold, was jailed yesterday after a jury at Norwich Crown Court found him guilty of downloading indecent pictures of pre-teenage boys on his computer. He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for seven years.

Police officers raided his home in July after receiving a tip-off and found 823 "very unpleasant" pictures of boys aged as young as two, downloaded between July 4, 2000 and July 6, 2001.

Button, a former social worker, denied the charges and claimed he had been trying to find a website where he could "trade in" his air miles.

It is the second time in less than two years that Button has been jailed for internet pornography charges. He was given a three-month sentence in June 2000 for downloading 2,000 images of children.

Button, a former head boy of Reydon Modern School, had worked with children for more than 20 years and was director of the Norfolk and Norwich Families House charity at the time.

The court heard he had been found out when his laptop computer had been examined by his employers during an internal examination. Button admitted six sample charges of making indecent photographs of youngsters.

His three-day trial on the most recent charges ended yesterday when the jury found him guilty by a majority of 10 to two.

Jonathan Seeley, prosecuting, said police experts used techniques to recover erased material and found 2,300 files, 1,400 of which were sexually explicit.

Roger Harrison, mitigating, said Button had had "a distinguished and vigorous career as a social worker, working for a number of reputable organisations", but was now "a broken man".

He added the images had been erased, Button had not "disseminated them or shown them to others" and there had been "no inappropriate behaviour or breach of trust".


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