May 2012

Childminder is paedophile with vile hoard of images


A REGISTERED childminder caught with thousands of indecent images of youngsters and animal pornography was jailed yesterday after a judge told him he had left families devastated.

Martin Rutland’s collection was discovered when police raided his home in Middlesbrough after an investigation by officers in Gloucestershire into his internet use late last year.

Rutland – who was registered with Ofsted as a childminder along with his unsuspecting wife – will be banned from working with children and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Last night, parents of children cared for at the couple’s home in an upmarket part of Middlesbrough, told how the ordeal had shattered their trust and said they would no longer allow anyone to look after them. Police said that Rutland led a double-life – a seemingly caring family man by day who trawled the internet at night for what a judge described as “the most dreadful images of children being abused”.

The 56-year-old was said by his lawyer to have gained no sexual gratification from looking at the pictures, but told police: “It’s the slim teenagers I find attractive.”

Rachel Dyson, in mitigation, told Teesside Crown Court that Rutland had lost his marriage, contact with his children and his once-supportive mother, his home and his business.

Judge Tony Briggs said: “One can understand the feeling of outrage, concern and worry that a childminder accessing this type of material is in charge of children. It does not take a great deal of thought to understand the effect.

“The fact that you and others like you wish to view material of that sort invariably means that conduct of this type, sadly, continues, children are put at risk and, no doubt, permanently damaged.

“The really serious aspect of it is while this collection was being amassed, you were running a nursery together with your partner for children.”

Rutland, now of no fixed address, but formerly of Roman Road, Linthorpe, was jailed for two years.

Detective Sergeant Paul Higgins said after the case: “Martin Rutland lived a double life, outwardly portraying the image of a caring childminder, while at the same time secretly indulging his desires.

While there was no direct harm to any child in his care, in doing so he abused the trust of parents who placed their children with him.”

Rutland admitted 14 charges of making indecent photographs of children, one of possessing 9,425 images and films and four of possessing extreme pornography.