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Haworth man lost job at Bronte museum after indecent images confession
A judge heard a man lost his job at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth after confessing to his employers downloading indecent images of children on one occasion three years ago.
Police seized computer equipment at the home of Sean Killian in 2012 after people were traced who had accessed a particular website, Child Love, on which such images and videos were found.
The website was closed down by the authorities but among the data retrieved were IP addresses of users which included Killian who had accessed the site for one minute at 3.22am on January 3, 2010.
Dale Brook, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday that Killian’s computer equipment was examined and a total of 199 images had been downloaded with the majority then deleted. A few were in system folders and only one was still active.
Of those, 149 were at level one, the lowest in seriousness, six at level two, 11 at level three, 31 at level four and two at level five, the most serious. The majority involved children under 13 and as young as three.
When interviewed, Killian said he had become curious when some material appeared while he was looking at adult pornography.
He accepted he had to use links to get to the images and had pleasured himself looking at them but had realised what he had done was wrong.
Jeremy Hill-Baker, representing Killian, said he had already deleted all but one of the images and it was to his credit that he had now sought help voluntarily with the counselling service Stop it Now.
“He has lost his job as a consequence of revealing his conviction to his employers,” he said.
Judge Penelope Belcher said she was not surprised to hear about that since he would have had access to children in that work.
Killian, 44, of Wood Street, Haworth, was committed for sentence to the court after admitting 11 charges of making indecent photographs of children.
He was given a three-year community order with a 60-day activity requirement and a £60 victim surcharge. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for five years.
Judge Belcher told him the serious aspect of such offending was that “plainly children have to be abused in the first place to create these images and they are only created because people like you look at them.”
“They are shocking images of children suffering, and abuse like that marks them for life, causing all sorts of psychological difficulties, that is why this is so very serious by its nature,” she said.
“I am told you have now lost your job as a result of having to disclose this to your employers, as I understand you were working at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.”
While the offences crossed the custody threshold he would not be in jail long enough to undertake the work needed with him which would be available under the community order.