November 2015

Government official found with child abuse images avoids prison

Benedict Cullum

An MP has hit out at lenient sentences after a government official found with sick child abuse images featuring six-year-olds was spared jail.

Benedict Cullum, a senior worker with HM Revenue and Customs, was found to have 2,774 category C pictures at his home in Heaton Mersey, Greater Manchester.

A police raid saw media storage devices seized and pictures and moving images of youngsters aged from six to 14 were discovered.

At Stockport Magistrates Court Cullum, 51, was given a four month jail sentence suspended for a year and 200 hours unpaid work with £85 costs.

Cullum, who quit his job with HM Revenue and Customs after his arrest, had pleaded guilty to one charge of making indecent images of children at a previous hearing.

October 2015

Revenue and Customs taxman found with child abuse images 

A former taxman has been warned he could be jailed after he was found with thousands of child abuse images – some featuring youngsters aged just six.

Benedict Simon Cullum, 51, admitted one charge of making indecent images of children at Stockport magistrates’ court.

Police had raided his home on Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey, in April this year and seized media storage devices belonging to him.

Cullum, who after his arrest resigned from his job as a senior official with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, was found to have 2,774 category C images.

They included both pictures and moving images and the children in them ranged in age from six to 14.

He told police that he had been looking at porn on the internet featuring adult women when he clicked on a pop up advert that directed him to images of scantily-clad children.

Mark Angus, prosecuting, said following this Cullum’s ‘curiosity grew’ and he then set up other online accounts and took part in private chat room discussions.

It was said the punishment for being caught with the images ranged from a high level community penalty with unpaid work to six months in jail.

Cullum has since moved to Worsley Grove, Levenshulme

The case was adjourned until November 17 for pre-sentence reports.

Magistrates gave him bail on the condition he has no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16 and no access to peer-to-peer file sharing websites.

A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs said: “This was a police operation and it would therefore be inappropriate for us to comment.

“However, Cullum is no longer employed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.”