December 2015

Perverted policeman was supplier of sickening images of child sexual abuse

pj

A policeman hailed as a hero has been exposed as the supplier of sickening images of child sexual abuse.

For the last nine years of his ‘exemplary’ career as a police officer, Paul Johns was collecting vile pictures and videos of children being sexually abused and sending them to at least fifty other perverts, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

Dad Johns, 53, of Theocs Close, Tewkesbury, who retired from the police in 2012, admitted two offences of distributing indecent photographs and one of making indecent images and was jailed for 18 months.

Found on his computer at his home were 55 still images and 165 videos of the most serious Category A – showing the rape or torture of young children.

He had 85 pictures and 117 videos at Category B and 678 images and 30 videos at Category C.

The court heard that Johns, who served in the RAF before becoming a police officer, had once been publicly commended for saving a suicidal man’s life.

But his solicitor Kevin Batch told the court “Not only has he lost his good character but the manner in which he has lost it means that forever more he will be remembered for none of the good things he has done, none of his public service.”

Judge Jamie Tabor QC told Johns “I am afraid the principal tragedy in your case is not the effect it has had on you and your family – it is what has happened to the children in the images we have seen.

“A man with your job and your intelligence knew that these little children were suffering terribly. And you will know from your experience in your last job that they will live with that suffering for the rest of their lives.”

Prosecutor Alistair Haggerty told the court Johns’ offences started in April 2003 and went on until October last year when he was arrested. For the first nine years of that period he was a serving police officer before retiring.

Police received intelligence last October from a Scottish force that they had arrested a paedophile who had been having Skype contact and sharing files of indecent images with Johns.

When officers went to Johns’ home and arrested him he told his wife ‘I’m in trouble. I’ve been arrested. I’ve been doing child stuff.’

He took the police to his computer room and told them where they would find the illegal material. But he denied having a sexual interest in children and claimed he had got involved in sexualised chats with others because he was ‘bored.’

Mr Haggerty said “He still maintains he has no sexual interest in children.” Judge Tabor replied “A difficult thing to admit in front of your wife, I suppose.”

Asked how many people he had distributed images to, Johns told police ‘About fifty or a few more.’

Mr Haggerty gave a description of one of the worst videos which shocked a woman spectator in the court’s public gallery so much that she broke down in tears and left the courtroom.

Johns’ lawyer told the court “He says when the police came to his house it was like a huge weight being lifted from his shoulders.

“He is a 53 year old man who has served his country in the RAF with an exemplary record and was then commended as a police officer for saving the life of a mentally ill young man who was attempting to take his own life.”

Johns had been ‘wholly co-operative’ with the police and acknowledged he had brought shame on his family – his wife, who is standing by him, their adult son and daughter and his mother, aged 83.

Jailing Johns, Judge Tabor also imposed a ten year sexual harm prevention order on him and told him he would have to sign the sex offender register for the next ten years.

“I accept this is a tragedy for your family – for your wife, whose loyalty to you I commend, and for your children who are inevitably now going to find out that their father had a dark secret which went on for a long time,” said the judge.