April 2009

Barclays IT director jailed for downloading hundreds of child porn images to company laptop

A Barclays Bank executive was jailed for six months today for downloading hundreds of pornographic images of children onto his company laptop.

Jonathan Wimpeney, 50, the bank’s IT director for western Europe, scoured the internet for websites specialising in incest and twisted shots of children as young as three being raped by paedophiles.

Wimpeney  was snared when his Dell laptop went in for repair at Barclays’ Canary Wharf HQ after the machine became infected with computer viruses.

The bank reported married Wimpeney to police after finding a total of 765 explicit snaps on the notebook computer.

Police raided Wimpeney’s home in Cambridgeshire where they discovered a further six child porn images on his PC.

Wimpeney, who was believed to have commanded a six-figure salary, admitted poring over the photos while working away in Europe after becoming ‘bored’.

He told Snaresbrook Crown Court: ‘I didn’t go looking for child pornography but the threshold of boredom drew me to child pornography.’

Judge Peter Birts QC said Wimpeney’s perversion fuelled the child porn industry, encouraging the abuse of more youngsters.

‘It is your activity I have to deal with in fostering this filthy and destructive trade,’ said the judge.

‘You had risen very high in your career and you have fallen very low.’

Wimpeney will serve three months behind bars before being released on license.

Prosecutor Margia Mostafa said: ‘Mr Wimpeney was employed by Barclays Bank in Canary Wharf and he was head of IT delivery for western Europe.

‘He travelled extensively for Barclays Bank in Spain, France, Portugal and Italy.’

Wimpeney handed in his laptop on June 10 last year after his surfing for child pornography had resulted in viruses infecting his computer, the court heard.

He was suspended from his job after computer experts discovered Wimpeney used the machine to view child porn websites including one which specialised in mother and son incest.

Wimpeney had also typed ‘shy virgins’ into an internet search engine, the court heard.

He told Barclays bosses: ‘I have a problem and I’m trying to sort it out.’

Sickening images in Wimpeney’s collection included photos of a 10-year-old having sex with another child, a four-year-old girl being forced to perform a sex act and a three-year-old girl being raped.

Harold Persaud, defending, said Wimpeney was bored and lonely while away on overseas business trips for weeks on end.

‘It was from initially looking at adult pornography that interest arose in other areas,’ said the barrister.

Wimpeney’s conviction led to him being sacked, the breakdown of his marriage and the possible sale of his Huntingdon home, the court heard.

Judge Birts ordered the destruction of Wimpeney’s computers and instructed him to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Wimpeney admitted 16 counts of making indecent photographs of a child and four counts of possessing indecent photographs of a child.