Former soldier running local children's party company had collection of child porn - The Stratford Observer
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Former soldier running local children's party company had collection of child porn

Stratford Editorial 28th Oct, 2016 Updated: 1st Nov, 2016

A FORMER soldier who was running a south Warwickshire-based Scalextric circuit and children’s party company had worryingly amassed a collection of indecent images of children from the internet.

Bizarrely, Jonathan Sword, who also had images involving sexual torture and sex with animals, was caught after the police were called to the funeral parlour where he worked.

His bosses had been suspicious about his behaviour in the mortuary – although he faced no charges in relation to that when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court.

The 54 year-old who owned and ran the Phoenix Scalextric Circuit in Studley, pleaded guilty to six charges of making indecent images of children and two of possessing extreme pornography.

He was sentenced to 16 months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity for 50 days and to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

In addition Sword, of Southwick Road, Halesowen, West Midlands, will be barred from working with children and was ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.

Prosecutor Martin Butterworth said Sword came to the attention of the police in May while working for a funeral parlour which he did not name, in south Warwickshire.

The proprietor of the funeral parlour had ‘discovered him alone in the mortuary in suspicious circumstances.’

Mr Butterworth explained: “He was working at the funeral parlour as well as owning and running a children’s party company providing parties including Scalextric circuit entertainment.

“He would run them about five times a week, with about 20 children at each.”

When the police spoke to Sword about the suspicions over his behaviour at the funeral parlour, they seized his computer.

A member of the police high-tech crime unit examined Sword’s computer and found a large number of indecent images of children on it, including hundreds of movies and stills – many of which an expert had described as ‘a very disturbing collection indeed’.

When Sword, who had no previous convictions, was interviewed  he admitted downloading the images and building up his collection of them over the past five years.

Mark Sharman, defending, said Sword, who may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, had served in the Royal Armoured Corps for 16 years.

He added Sword was ‘highly motivated to address his offending,’ and since his arrest he had disconnected his internet service and has sought help from the Lucy Faithful Foundation and another organisation working with sex offenders.

Sentencing Sword, Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC told him: “This is one of the more serious cases that comes before the court.

“But I bear in mind your good character as a soldier, where your conduct was described as exemplary, and the steps you have taken since your arrest to address your problem.”

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