Police inspector caught with child sex abuse images for second time

Published June 13, 2013 by JS2

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A police inspector with a previous conviction for child sex offences was caught with almost 700 indecent images of children.

Christopher Wratten was found with 659 indecent images of children when police raided his home in 2012.

The 59-year-old was sent to jail for six months a decade ago after admitting downloading images of children being sexually abused.

On Thursday, he was back behind bars after pleading guilty to committing a similar offence.

The former Hastings police inspector quit the force when he was charged as part of a nationwide operation into paedophiles paying to view child abuse websites in 2002.

He then moved to Scotland to start a new life with his wife, who stood by him, after he was released from jail.

But police uncovered hundreds of indecent images of children on his computer again in March 2012.

He admitted being in possession of child abuse material when he appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court earlier this year and was jailed for a year on Thursday.

Sheriff Gregor Murray described it as a “tragic” case involving an “intelligent” man who had lost all semblance of social standing in both England and Scotland.

He imposed a six-year extended sentence of which Wratten will spend 12 months in custody.

Defence lawyer Stuart Beveridge told the court: “Mr Wratten has a directly analogous previous conviction which dates back ten years. He is under no illusions, he is in a very serious position today.”

Mr Beveridge said his client was initially in denial when his crime came to light ten years ago but now accepted that he had a problem.

He said: “He realises and also now accepts that he has a serious problem. There’s an addiction to alcohol and an addiction to pornography of all types.”

The lawyer said his client handled similar material during his employment as a police officer and had become desensitised. He downloaded images on his computer at home and was eventually caught during a police operation when he lived in England.

The court heard that Wratten had recently installed software to prevent him accessing similar material on his computer and he had gone to his GP for help. He began researching potential treatments and discovered that an anti-depressant prescribed to patients with similar problems in England had been successful.

Mr Beveridge said his client was now taking Prozac, which is known to lower libido, which has had a “significant effect” on his behaviour.

The lawyer said his client had attempted to commit suicide twice and one attempt had left him with health problems. The court heard his wife had supported him through his first conviction but had now left him.

Wratten was initially caught downloading child sexual abuse images when he was a serving officer in 2002. He initially claimed to have been accessing the websites to collect evidence and told police officers that he had been disgusted by what he saw online. Wratten admitted seven counts of making indecent photographs between September 1999 and November 2002 when he appeared in court.

The former police officer, who now lives in Cullen, in Aberdeenshire, was caught with a further 659 images at a property in Aberchirder on March 30, 2012.

 

STV News

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