May 2013

Jailed for sex offences involving children

A 48-year-old man has been jailed for a year for sex offences involving children he had access to through his work for City of York Council.

Simon Charles Herd carried out work on behalf of the council for several years before his arrest on charges of possessing indecent photographs of children and of voyeurism.

Herd, who used to live in York but moved to Southampton after his arrest, pleaded guilty on April 17 before York Magistrates Court to 15 charges of possessing sexual images of children on his home computer and two of using secret cameras to film children, when they were unaware they were being filmed, for his own sexual gratification.

Judge Stephen Ashurst jailedhim for eight months at York Crown Court yesterday for the voyeurism charges, and a further four months for possession of indecent photographs.

He also placed him on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and made him subject to a ten-year sex offenders’ prevention order which will curtail his behaviour after his release from prison. The order was made at the request of the prosecution in a bid to stop him committing more sexual crimes.

The judge also banned him from ever working with children again.

After the sentencing, City of York Council issued a statement, which said: “The council is pleased that agencies across the city have worked so successfully since allegations were made about Mr Simon Herd to investigate and bring the matter to court. As with all cases such as this, the council will, as usual, have a full debrief and review in the next few days when all information regarding the case is available.”

When the case first appeared before the courts, the council sought an order to impose reporting restrictions, including a ban on identifying Herd. Magistrates rejected this after hearing from The Press.