September 2003

Social worker jailed for child porn

A former social worker who downloaded pornographic pictures of children from the internet amassed more than 900 images.

Nicholas Blatchley, of Brookfield Gardens, Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, was working for Islington Social Services between 1999 and 2002 while he was using his home computer to access the pictures.

On Friday the 49-year-old admitted a charge of possessing indecent photographs of a child at St Albans Crown Court and was jailed for seven months.

Blatchley was arrested on 18 February 2003 after the police raided his home and seized his computer – experts found pictures both on the hard disc and a series of floppy discs.

Isobelle Delamere prosecuting said Blatchley at first denied responsibility for downloading the images and said someone must have hacked into his computer.

‘Accepted blame’

He then claimed someone else must have used his credit card without his authority to pay for the pictures.

However, she said the police investigation revealed only Blatchley could have downloaded the material.

Sean Smith defending, told the court his client accepted he had downloaded all the images.

He said: “He was accessing the internet for this type of material over a period of time.”

Mr Smith also told the court Blatchley had lost his job as a social worker helping adults with learning difficulties and accepted he could never again return to his career.

Judge Seddon Cripps said there had to be an immediate custodial sentence and ordered Blatchley to be added to the sex offenders register for 10 years.