May 2012

Jail for child sex abuse man

A MAN who engaged in sexual activity with a 13-year-old boy, took indecent photographs of him wearing women’s clothing and distributed the images in a ‘desperately unpleasant series of events’ has been jailed for four years.

John Tatnall, of Ambleside Avenue, Walton, (pic above) was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on his 67th birthday on Friday for sexual activity with a child, taking indecent photographs of a child and distributing those images to his friend, Ronald Remnant, who also appeared before the court.

Remnant, 68, of Sunbury Lane, Walton, was handed a suspended sentence for possessing the indecent photographs after Tatnall gave them to him.

Sometime between October 2006 and October 2007, Tatnall engaged in sexual activity, involving oral sex and sex toys, with the boy on two separate occasions, the court heard.

In some of the photographs the victim, who is not related to the defendant and cannot be named for legal reasons, dressed up in a skirt and purple women’s knickers and posed, Samantha Cohen, prosecuting said. A total of 40 images were taken. Tatnall gave the photographs to his friend, but they were discovered by police in an envelope in a safe and a bedside cabinet when Remnant’s house was raided for a reason not related to him, the court heard.

When Remnant was arrested he accepted the photographs were his and explained the person in them was a lot older than they appeared to be but he said he was unable to remember who had given them to him, Ms Cohen said.

Philip Kazantzis, defending Remnant, said credit should be given for the early guilty pleas.

“Mr Remnant did not know what he was receiving at the time,” Mr Kazantzis said. “He said he should have just got rid of them.”

Police were able to identify the victim and were led to Tatnall who was then arrested and interviewed.

“He made full admissions as to the activity,” Ms Cohen told the court.

Ed Butler, defending Tatnall, said: “From the outset of course I accept this is a desperately unpleasant series of events.”

The victim was a willing participant in what took place and it is the defendant’s account that the boy instigated it, Mr Butler said.

He explained there was no evidence to contradict that and said the boy says he was confused about his sexuality.

Mr Butler, mitigating, said Tatnall pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

“This was a case where Mr Tatnall made full and frank admissions in his police interview,” he said.

In 2009 Tatnall was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth and had a significant operation later that year where two-thirds of his tongue was removed.

“He has not been given any clean bill of health,” Mr Butler added. “He is not a well man.”

Judge Michael Addison, sentencing Tatnall, took into account there was no evidence of intimidation or coercion of the boy. He sentenced him to four years imprisonment, with 22 days to count towards sentence for time spent on curfew.

Tatnall was required to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for an indefinite period and was given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for a period of five years.

Remnant was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and a curfew was imposed for 28 days. He was required to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.