July 2007

Former Navy chief spared jail in child pornography case

A FORMER Royal Navy commander who flashed at young girls and downloaded child pornography has been spared jail.

Craig Gilmour, 39, from Newcastle, who was formerly captain of the fishery patrol vessel HMS Tyne, has been given a two-year supervision order after he drove up to young girls and exposed himself to them in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

The incidents happened in Ledbury Road, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, on July 3, and in Neville Avenue, Paulsgrove, on October 5 this year.

His victims included a 17-year-old girl, an 11-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl and a ten-year-old girl.

The father-of-three, who resigned from the Navy after the allegations were made, admitted four charges of indecent exposure

He also admitted 19 charges of making indecent images while at his family home in Turbinia Gardens, Newcastle, and a charge of possessing 359 indecent images of underage girls, found on a computer at his base in Portsmouth.

He was cleared at Portsmouth Crown Court last month of inciting the ten-year-old to perform a sex act on him.

Judge Gareth Cowling yesterday gave Gilmour a community penalty order, with two years of supervision and a requirement to attend a sex offenders’ programme in Edinburgh, where he now lives, for two years.

Gilmour was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

Judge Cowling told Gilmour his “abhorrent behaviour” was aggravated by the young age of his victims.

Gilmour was leading a globally-important military operation in the Middle East at the time he was exposing himself and downloading child pornography.

Between 2005 and last year, Gilmour was the Navy’s chief of staff for a multi-national force that protected Iraq’s oilfields.

The court heard that the pressure of his role in the Gulf caused Gilmour, who has since been receiving psychiatric treatment, to suffer a breakdown.

The court was told that his work kept him out of the country for 11 months during a 14-month period, and that he worked in Portsmouth 300 miles away from his family.

Gilmour’s wife is seeking a divorce and refuses to let him see their children.

In a separate case earlier this year, Gilmour was fined £600 at Portsmouth after he pleaded guilty to inappropriate behaviour by using “vile” words towards two 13-year-old girls