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News Archive > General > Child sex ex cop jailed

Child sex ex cop jailed

By Natasha Swift 6th September 2017

Child sex ex cop jailed
CROWN: Robert Branney arriving at court last week

A FORMER police officer from St Austell has been jailed after being caught with hundreds of indecent photographs of children for a second time.

Robert Branney, of Treverbyn Gardens, appeared at Truro Crown Court on Thursday where he was put behind bars for 14 months after being found with 258 indecent images of children last year.

The 71-year-old admitted making 25 category A indecent images of children between March 30 and June 21 last year and also pleaded guilty to making a category A movie, 36 category B indecent images of children and 197 category C indecent images of children between the same dates.

He was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for 12 months in April last year after pleading guilty to three offences of having 13 indecent images of children and a film in his possession between April and August 2015, making 51 indecent images of children between January and July 2015, and also possessing an extreme pornographic image of a sex act being performed with a dog on April 18, 2015.

The new offence placed Branney in breach of his suspended prison sentence.

Last year the court was told the former child protection officer and trustee of the Cornwall Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre would fantasise about having sex with underage girls after getting addicted to accessing child pornography chat rooms when he retired from the force.

Branney was president of the St Austell Lions Club, which saw him dress up as Father Christmas and visit children around the town to hand out presents as well as over see the club’s annual charity swimathon where schoolchildren came from all over to take part.

The court heard that the National Crime Agency had received information in 2014 that Branney was a person of interest.

In August 2015 police visited Branney, who was in the police force for 28 years, at his family home.

Last year the court was told Branney lived in a fantasy world.

Branney, who retired from work 10 years ago, told police in his interview he had lots of free time on his hands and had become addicted.

The court was told that the age of the children in the photos was believed to be between six and eight-years-old.

Branney’s defence barrister told the court: “There is no risk of him getting involved in this kind of thing again.”

But the latest offences took place after Branney was arrested for last year’s charges and some images seized included images of the highest category - A - showing the most extreme abuse.

His crimes came to light in July last year when police noticed a Category C image had been uploaded to a website and the username identified Branney’s home address.

The paedophile online investigation team then searched his address in December last year and two devices were seized containing 258 indecent images of children and a film.

Sentencing Branney last week, Judge Simon Carr told him he had “manipulated and misled” everyone trying to help him.

By Natasha Swift 6th September 2017

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