December 2015

Former senior council officer downloaded “vile and extreme” indecent images of children


A DISGRACED former senior council officer who downloaded extreme pornographic images of children has been spared jail.

Colin Bulger, who was the assistant chief executive of North Lincolnshire Council until 2011, admitted looking at sexual films and images of children to feel “power”.

Bulger, of Park Avenue, west Hull, was arrested after a police raid at his home in April, where two electronic devices filled with extreme pornographic files were discovered.

Officers also found a series of explicit images, including a 38-minute film containing “revolting” sexual images.

Bulger appeared at Hull Crown Court last Friday, where he pleaded guilty to possessing and making indecent images of children and possessing extreme pornography.

Some of the images of the children fell into Category A, which is the most serious.

After the first hearing, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC remanded Bulger, 62, in custody to consider an appropriate sentence.

Appearing in court yesterday, the judge said he had decided not to send him to prison, but would make him the subject of a three-year community order with strict requirements to complete the Northumbria Sex Offenders Programme.

“Prison will have had a fearsome affect on you,” the judge said.

“I was almost speechless when I read the details of what you viewed.

“Your conduct was utterly appalling.

“These are indeed very serious crimes.

“I make it clear straight away that the sentence in respect of each of these, in many respects, should be an immediate custodial term.

“In the past, you were a very successful and very senior local government official.

“At the time of this serious criminality you were no longer in employment, you were also consuming much alcohol.”

John Thackray, who defended Bulger, said there were no excuses for his client’s actions, but told the court he had addressed all the factors leading to his offending.

“He was in a very stressful and demanding job and had some difficulties with his line manager, as described by his colleague, and that really took its toll upon this defendant,” Mr Thackray said.

“He was made redundant and that was a big shock for him. He started to stay up in the evening, drinking on his own, and that is when this disgraceful conduct arose. It was a cycle he found difficult to break.”

Judge Richardson told Bulger he had brought shame upon his family, including his wife of 23 years and teenage son.

“You have not only brought immense shame upon yourself but you have also brought considerable shame on your family, who must be utterly humiliated and appalled by your conduct,” Judge Richardson said.

Bulger was also placed on the sex offenders register for seven years.