April 2003

Priest downloaded child porn

A preacher who downloaded child pornography from the internet has been placed on the sex offenders’ register and given a community rehabilitation order.

Dr Jonathan Stock-Hesketh, 54, has already resigned as a university lecturer and a psychotherapist.

He has also been banned from preaching by the Bishop of Southwell since his conviction.

Stock-Hesketh pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to four counts connected to child pornography.

In sentencing him on Wednesday, the judge called the images of girls “disturbing and distressing”.

When his home at the University of Nottingham was raided, police found 38 images of child pornography on his computer.

The shamed man has resigned his part-time post as a theology lecturer at the University of Nottingham and from his post as a psychotherapist at the Berne Institute in Kegworth, Leicestershire.

He had previously preached at the Emmanuel Church in Loughborough but permission for him to work as a priest has been withdrawn by the Bishop of Southwell, the Right Reverend George Cassidy.

The bishop said in a statement: “This case has been a matter of deep concern and sadness to the Diocese and to the whole Church.

“We recognise the harm suffered by children because of offences of this nature.

“These are not victimless crimes.

“We expect the highest standards from all those given the privilege of public ministry in the Church of England in view of the trust placed in them by the general public.